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I asked for a lawyer before taking a breath test — do I get one?

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2018 | Firm News |

Imagine you have been arrested for drunk driving, and now the police are asking you to take an official breath test or blood test to determine your blood-alcohol-content (BAC). So many questions may be running through your mind. For instance, do you have the right to talk to an attorney before choosing whether or not to submit to one of these tests?

Unfortunately, in Colorado, the answer is no, you do not have a right to talk to an attorney before choosing if you want to take a test. Indeed, DUIs are one of the few criminal offenses in which you do not have a right to speak with a lawyer before providing incriminating evidence.

Colorado expressed consent law doesn’t say you have the right to speak to an attorney

Essentially, under Colorado’s expressed consent law, drivers are already deemed to have “expressed [their] consent” to chemical testing by merely driving within the borders of Colorado. Therefore, if the police already have probable cause to believe you were driving while impaired or intoxicated, the law says you required to take a blood or Breathalyzer test. Because of this law, you will face penalties, including a license revocation, if you refuse testing.

In addition, Colorado’s expressed consent law does not give you the right to contact an attorney before choosing whether you will submit to a breath test or blood test.

If you ask, it may be deemed a ‘refusal’

While there is certainly nothing stopping you from asking for an attorney before submitting to a blood or breath test, you still need to be cautious if you decide to do so.

In fact, not only have courts in Colorado repeatedly held that drivers do not have the right to confer with an attorney before taking a test, but some courts have even concluded that asking for a lawyer may be deemed a “refusal” under the law. Therefore, if you do not submit to testing because you want to speak to a lawyer first, your license will likely be revoked and you may still be charged with drunk driving.

Simply put, you need to be careful.

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