What Does Colorado Expressed Consent Mean?

When hearing about DUI related cases, you may have heard the term expressed consent tossed around but weren’t quite sure what it means.  Colorado laws governing DUI related arrests allows for expressed consent. In layman’s terms this simply means that if you are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, you are subject by law to agree to a chemical test.  Nevertheless, in order for express consent laws to apply, you must be tested before 2 hours have passed since you last drove your vehicle. Additionally, you have the right to choose which kind of test you take, either a breathalyzer or a blood test.  Either one will determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). Take heed that once you have decided which test you would like to take, you will not be permitted to switch it to the other test.

Furthermore, it is legal for the officer, who pulled you over to act on his or her suspicion that you are guilty of driving under the influence.  This officer is therefore permitted to administer a preliminary breathalyzer test, prior to arresting you. However, in this case, you have the legal right to REFUSE to take the test.  The same is true of taking a field sobriety test, which the officer may also suggest prior to arresting you. The officer administering these tests is required to inform you of your right to refuse.

Can I Refuse A BAC Test Following My Arrest?

If you are wondering about the legality of refusing to take a chemical test to determine BAC following an arrest, the answer is complicated.  While you cannot be forced to take the chemical test, due to Colorado’s expressed consent laws, you will be subject to an automatic license revocation should you refuse the test.  Other extenuating factors will also determine how severe your suspension will be. The number of prior DUI’s you have will be considered when determining the extent of your license revocation.  Additionally, there is one situation that legally allows you to be physically restrained and forced to take a chemical test. This will only happen if you injured or killed someone as a result of your driving under the influence.

Will I Be Considered Guilty Immediately Upon Taking A Required Chemical Test?

You may have assumed that immediately following a required chemical test, you will be considered guilty.  This could not be farther from the truth. Even if your test results prove that your BAC was above the legal limit, there is still hope.  Simply put, a chemical test alone is not a guarantee of a conviction. 

An experienced attorney will know how to help you and ensure the best outcome possible for your case.  Depending upon the specifics of your case, there are a variety of helpful defenses that can help reduce your charges or even have them thrown out.  A DUI conviction will result in immense personal and financial losses, making it imperative that you do not go this road alone. Allow the experts to fight for you to ensure your rights are not violated and your future is protected!