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Express consent in Colorado: The facts

Being stopped by a police officer can be frustrating or even scary for some people, and being asked to take a breath or blood test may surprise you. You must understand the law in Colorado to make sure you comply with the officer's wishes, or you could lose your license because of refusing to do so. After you're stopped, you can reach out to your attorney to build a defense or to request information on if the stop was legal.

In Colorado, you give express consent when you're stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence. What is express consent? It's a way of saying that you're required to provide a breath or blood sample on request to any officer when you're stopped in Colorado. You may have to provide a chemical sample of blood or breath, must provide the test within two hours of the stop, and should have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or less to continue driving without an arrest if you're over the age of 21.

If you test higher than the legal limit, you will have your license revoked for nine months, but you can request your license be reinstated after a mandatory one-month cool-off period. You can't get a probationary driver license during this time. That's just for your first offense; subsequent offenses lead to longer restraints with an ignition interlock device.

If you were under the age of 21 at the time of the stop, you can't have your license reinstated early and will have to have an ignition interlock device for at least two years if your test came back 0.15 or higher.

Source: Colorado.gov, "Express Consent," accessed May 05, 2016

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