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Express consent: succinctly stated, yet not always crystal clear

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2017 | Breath Test Refusal |

The Colorado Supreme Court recently issued appellate rulings in three different DUI-related cases involving blood and breath testing, with a specific focus being upon the state’s express consent law.

As indicated by numerous queries from Colorado motorists, as well as by court challenges and, indeed, the Supreme Court’s perceived need to provide clarifying guidance, a clear understanding of what express consent means and entails is far from universal among drivers.

We explain the law on our DUI-defense website at the Denver law firm of Shazam Kianpour & Associates, noting this: “If you have a valid Colorado driver’s license, you have given the state “expressed consent” to conduct a breath or alcohol test in the event you are pulled over for driving under the influence.”

That simplifies things.

Doesn’t it?

In fact, and notwithstanding our succinct explanation of express consent, we feel obliged to additionally state that, even though seemingly straightforward, the law can still be “problematic and confusing” for drivers pulled over for suspected drunk driving.

And that is for various reasons.

Here is something material to consider, for example: Statutory law discussing express consent renders that consent conditional upon a police officer first having probable cause to believe that a motorist is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In many DUI-related stops in Colorado and across the country, it is repeatedly demonstrated that law enforcers lacked any reasonable suspicion of unlawful activity being committed by a motorist before they demanded a breath or blood test be agreed to.

Many additional concerns can arise surrounding express consent, which an affected motorist might reasonably want to timely discuss with a proven defense attorney who advocates routinely on behalf of Colorado motorists arrested for or charged with a drinking-related criminal offense.