In the state of Colorado, you do not have to take a field sobriety test or a Breathalyzer test. Field sobriety tests are designed so you will fail. After you take the test, it will be used later on by the district attorney (DA) and judges, so that they can understand how badly drunk you were.
However, if you refuse to take the test, there is no negative effect. Someone may try to make it seem like your refusal should lead to negative consequences; however, it can’t be used against you. Your refusal to do a voluntary test cannot be used as evidence stating that you were drunk—it is voluntary. You can refuse for any reason or no reason at all.
On the other hand, while you are not required to take a Breathalyzer test, it can lead to negative consequences. Not taking the test will be called a refusal. In the case you decline a Breathalyzer test, you will be required to fill out the express consent form. If you decide not to take a Breathalyzer, you will have to sign the form and check a box; your license will automatically be revoked for a year after refusing.
The next thing that would happen is you may be prosecuted for DUI. In some cases, a refusal for a Breathalyzer makes it harder for you in negotiating and trying your case. In this respect, a refusal can be used against you.
We believe that a better alternative to a Breathalyzer is a blood test. When asked if you will take a Breathalyzer test, you can answer, “I would prefer a blood test.” The benefits for a blood test are as follows:
- There is no way to retake a Breathalyzer test.
- If you take a blood test, the state has to keep your blood in a lab, where it can later be retested.
- If you take a blood test, your license will not be revoked immediately.
When you blow into the machine for the Breathalyzer test, the sample disappears—they are, after all, just catching your breath. Maybe the machine is wrong; maybe the machine made a mistake. There is no way for an attorney to retest it later on to check for faulty readings.
If you take a blood test, then the state has to keep your blood in a lab. If you think you got a bad test result, you can go back and have that blood test retested.
If you take a blood test, your license may not get revoked depending on the result of the blood test. You can keep driving until you hear back from the DMV, whether or not your blood levels were over the legal limit.
Dealing with a DUI can be a difficult and confusing time. If you or someone you know has recently been convicted of a DUI, please call the experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara. We will work with you to make sure that you receive a fair and just trial.