The Colorado State Patrol (CSP), Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and local law enforcement departments will be teaming up this Fourth of July weekend to target suspected impaired drivers.
This upcoming crackdown is part of Colorado’s “The Heat is On” DUI enforcement campaign, which consists of several increased enforcement periods throughout the year — including the Summer Blitz DUI enforcement period that just ended on June 26 and the upcoming Fourth of July enforcement period that runs from June 30 to July 5.
According to CDOT, this increased DUI enforcement resulted in 318 arrests last Fourth of July weekend, so you can likely expect to see additional patrols and DUI checkpoints if you are behind the wheel this Independence Day.
What are my rights?
In Colorado, DUI checkpoints — otherwise referred to as sobriety checkpoints, mobile checkpoints or roadblocks — are legal.
However, whether police stop you as part of a DUI checkpoint or pull you over individually, you have rights. For example, I the police officer asks you to perform voluntary roadside tests or take a preliminary breath test, you can simply say, “No, thank you.” In addition, if you are asked if you have had anything to drink, you don’t have to answer.
If police have probable cause to believe you are impaired, though, they will typically ask you to submit to chemical testing of your breath or blood. Unlike the preliminary breath test mentioned above, this test is not optional, meaning you will face a penalty if you refuse, including a lengthy license suspension.