Blood Testing (BAC)
Under Colorado law, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If someone is stopped and found to be driving under the influence, they can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI), driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), or driving while ability impaired (DWAI). A DUI results when someone drives with a blood alcohol content above 0.08 percent. In comparison, ability impairment may occur when someone drives with a blood alcohol content between 0.04 percent and 0.08 percent.
Generally, officers must give someone a choice in whether they want to take a breathalyzer, urine test, or blood test to determine if they were, in fact, above the legal limit. However, in some situations, a blood or urine test may be required, such as:
- The officer has probable cause that the suspect was driving under the influence of drugs because a breathalyzer only tests for alcohol, not drugs.
- The suspect is unable to take a breathalyzer because they are unconscious.
- The officer has probable cause to suspect the driver was involved in a serious crime such as vehicular homicide or vehicular assault.
Denver Blood Testing Attorney | DUI Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, then get in contact with the experienced attorneys at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. Defense lawyer Matthew Martin at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. understands how stressful DUI charges are. He can provide valuable resources and insight to help.
Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts traffic cases throughout the Denver area and surrounding counties such as Douglas County, Jefferson County, Boulder County, Adams County. Broomfield County. Call (303) 725-0017 to secure a free consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. today.
- Penalties for Field Sobriety Test Refusal
- Defenses for Field Sobriety Test Refusal
- Additional Resources
Penalties for Field Sobriety Test Refusal
In extreme circumstances, a suspect may be restrained so that a blood test may be performed. The involuntary blood test would still be admissible as evidence against the suspect for a severe crime such as vehicular homicide. If a blood test is ordered, it generally needs to be performed within two hours of the individual’s arrest, or it cannot be used as evidence unless there were extenuating circumstances as to why the blood test was not taken within the two-hour window.
Additionally, under Colorado law, there are specific requirements for blood testing during traffic stops, including but not limited to:
- A blood test must be performed by a laboratory certified by the state of Colorado.
- The blood must be collected by a medical professional.
- The collection of blood should take place in the presence of the arresting officer or another supervisor.
- The blood sample must be shipped within seven days of collection.
- Positive samples must be retested using different chemical principles from the initial test.
Penalties are not limited to having a blood test come back positive. Instead, if someone refuses to have the testing done, they may receive:
- An automatic suspension of their Colorado license.
- Designation as a Colorado persistent drunk driver may require the following things:
- Installation of an ignition interlock device before the suspect may drive again.
- SR-22 insurance is a form the suspect must file with the state to have a valid license proving that they have auto insurance that meets the minimum liability coverage required by Colorado law.
- Completion of an alcohol education and treatment program that generally consists of 24 hours of classes over 12 weeks.
Refusal to submit to a blood test may be used to show guilt by the prosecution because they are allowed to give an explanation as to why there is not a blood test in evidence. Another penalty for refusing to submit to a blood test is that points may be appointed against the individual’s license. Even if there is no automatic suspension, it may be suspended in the future due to meeting the maximum number of points allowed by the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles.
Defenses for Field Sobriety Test Refusal
Several defenses are available for someone who refuses to take a blood test or has a positive blood test. For example, the defense may argue that:
- The traffic stop was unreasonable.
- The officer did not provide the defendant with a choice of test (e., blood, urine, or breath).
- There was no probable cause to suspect the defendant of doing drugs.
- The blood was not collected within the two-hour window, and there were no extenuating circumstances.
- The blood was not drawn by a medical professional.
- The blood was not stored at the proper temperature, potentially damaging the blood sample.
- Finally, the blood collected was not properly retested.
- The blood sample came back positive for drugs previously consumed, but there is sufficient evidence to show that the defendant was not under the influence of drugs at the time of their arrest.
Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles: The Colorado DMV website provides more information concerning the driver’s license point system and how to appeal a license suspension.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provides the regulations and rules for blood and urine testing due to driving under the influence arrest.
Colorado Department of Human Resources: The Colorado Department of Human Resources website provides information on where to receive free, confidential counseling to help with mental health or substance use crises.
Denver Blood Testing Lawyer
If your DUI charge involves blood testing, contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. today. Criminal defense attorney Matthew Martin is an experienced lawyer with extensive knowledge of Colorado’s DUI laws who has successfully represented clients in the Denver area. Allow him to secure a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Call Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. at (303) 725-0017 to discuss how we can help you fight the results of a blood test. Mr. Martin accepts DUI Defense cases in Denver, CO including Denver, Boulder, Englewood, Westminster, Greeley, Parker, and Brighton.