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DUI Refusal

As a condition of having a valid Colorado driver’s license, all drivers are automatically required to comply with specific rules and regulations. One of these regulations, called the “express consent law,” requires that a driver who is suspected of driving drunk comply and participate in certain chemical tests to determine if the driver is indeed drunk. Everyone automatically consents to these tests when obtaining a valid Colorado driver’s license.

But, what happens if a driver refuses to submit to these tests after being pulled over suspected of drunk driving? Refusing these tests may result in a driving under the influence or DUI refusal.

Denver DUI Refusal Attorney

If you are facing DUI refusal charges in Colorado, seek the legal assistance of a criminal defense attorney immediately. At Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C., we’ve helped numerous clients in similar positions get back on their feet and have their charges reduced or dropped altogether. We are ready to review your case and discuss the best course of action with you.

To schedule your first consultation for free, call (303) 725-0017 today. The Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients in Denver, CO including cities such as Boulder, Englewood, Greenwood Village, Centennial, Aurora, and Golden.

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Information Center

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What Is a DUI Test?

If suspected of driving while intoxicated, DWI, or driving under the influence, DUI, in Colorado, law enforcement officers can stop a driver and expect them to submit to a breathalyzer or field sobriety test. These tests are evidentiary tests used to determine right on the spot if the driver is driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence.

During a field sobriety test, the law enforcement officer can ask the driver to walk in a straight line, stand on one foot, or recite the alphabet forward or backward. By agreeing to take either test, the driver allows the law enforcement officers to gather preliminary evidence to use against the driver later if charges are filed. A preliminary breathalyzer test can automatically convict the driver of a DUI per se because they are over the legal limit of .08 blood-alcohol content or BAC.

Any driver in Colorado may refuse the field sobriety or preliminary breathalyzer test. After refusing, the driver will likely be taken to a police station and be asked to submit to a chemical DUI test or an evidentiary test. This test is either a blood test or a breath test. Once the driver is asked to submit to a chemical DUI test, they must comply under the express consent law.

One significant advantage to declining the initial tests is the risk that the field breathalyzer is not calibrated correctly and may produce a false reading. By not allowing the collection of the initial evidence and making the police run the evidentiary test, the driver may be able to prevent being charged with a DUI.

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Penalties For Refusing A DUI Test

However, any Colorado driver can choose to refuse a DUI evidentiary test in Colorado. But by refusing to take the test, there may be penalties the driver will have to be aware of. These penalties include:

  • Automatic suspension of the driver’s license for one year after the first refusal
  • Designation as a “persistent drunk driver”
  • Mandatory alcohol and drug treatment education program
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device on the driver’s vehicle for at least one year once the driver is allowed to drive again.
  • Refusal may be submitted as evidence in your case if it continues to court

Depending on the number of test refusals, the driver will lose their license for a period of years. For example, a driver who refuses a second time can face a two-year revocation. A third refusal can lead to a three-year revocation.

If the driver’s license has been revoked for refusing a chemical test, defendants can contest the revocation at an administrative hearing. During the hearing, the driver can argue why they should be allowed to have their license reinstated without serving the required revocation period.

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Should Drivers Refuse a DUI Test?

Ultimately it is up to the driver if they want to refuse the test. There are strong penalties for refusing to submit to the test, but if the driver already has multiple DUI convictions, the penalties for refusing to submit to the test may be less than the penalties they could face with another DUI conviction.

In some circumstances, law enforcement can administer a chemical test without the driver’s consent. Usually, an officer cannot physically restrain someone to obtain a sample for testing, but if the incident involved injuries or death to other people and the driver refused to complete a test, the officer could require a blood test without consent.

If at all possible, contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney can help anyone decide their best option when it comes to taking the test or not. A suspected drunk driver should contact an attorney between refusing the field tests and being asked to submit to the evidentiary test.

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Additional Resources

Colorado DUI Resources –The Colorado Behavioral Health Administration’s website provides resources for individuals seeking help dealing with DUI and DWI convictions. It has links to different DUI education resources as well as treatment options.

No DUI Colorado – No DUI Colorado is a state-funded source of information to help drivers understand Colorado’s impaired driving laws and how they apply to drivers facing a DUI.

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Colorado DUI Refusal Lawyer | Denver, CO

If you have been arrested for refusing a DUI test in Colorado, it’s critical to consider your legal options. Matthew Martin at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. is a skilled DUI defense attorney that has over 28 years of experience defending clients charged with drunk driving. He understands that breath, blood, and urine tests are not infallible, and even they are subject to interpretation and questioning.

There are many ways that an error can occur during the administration of a chemical test; however, it takes the assistance of a practiced criminal defense lawyer DUI attorney to discover those flaws and use them to the client’s advantage. To schedule a free consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C., call (303) 725-0017 today.

Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients throughout Denver, CO including Adams County, Douglas County, Boulder County, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County, and Broomfield County.

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