What is implied consent? Does it apply in Colorado? If you ever ask yourself these questions, then you’re probably wondering if a police officer can force you to take a Breathalyzer test. The truth is that in Colorado, the implied consent law gives police permission to take your blood alcohol concentration to check your intoxication levels through a breath test or blood test without a warrant. The officer can also ask you to perform field sobriety tests.
Under the implied consent law, whenever a person applies for a driver’s license, he or she gives consent to take a field sobriety test and chemical test as required to determine his or her impairment during a traffic stop. If a person refuses to submit to testing when asked by a police officer who has reasonable suspicion that the driver is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, then the driver could lose his or her license immediately. The driver also risks further penalties such as fines or time in jail.
Other states that use an implied consent law include Ohio, Massachusetts, New York and California. Every state with implied consent laws varies slightly on their application. However, the fact is that you cannot refuse to give a breath test if asked in these states, and doing so can lead to harsh penalties.
While you may not be legally able to refuse the test, there are some steps you can take if you have refused and have lost your license. If the stop was not legal or if there are other concerns about the officer, you may have a case against the evidence collected.
Source: FindLaw, “Implied Consent Laws,” accessed Dec. 29, 2016