Many Colorado drivers don't realize that when they initially accepted their driver's license, they consented to a chemical test during a DUI traffic stop. If the driver attempts to refuse to participate in this test, he or she could face serious penalties.
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.
Many people may wonder why those who are accused of a drunk driving offense accept a breath test when the police request it. "If you just refuse the breath test, then you deprive the police of a crucial piece of evidence," you may think. While that may seem to be the way it is, the reality is that refusing a breath test is actually forbidden. You still have the freedom to refuse it, but sometimes the freedom to make certain choices comes at a cost. And in the case of refusing a breath test, in the state of Colorado it means a one-year suspension of your driver's license.
Imagine for a moment that you go out to a restaurant to celebrate a friend's birthday, or a coworker's promotion, or just to have a fun time with family. At this event, you decide to have a few alcoholic drinks, and as such, your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of 0.08. But you don't know that at the time -- and maybe in the spirit of the evening or even with all of the positive vibes you are feeling, you don't even care. This is a mistake to be sure, but it's a choice you make anyway.
Some people may think that an ingenious strategy to avoid giving a police officer your blood alcohol levels is to refuse the breath test. Such a simple denial must be a good strategy for getting off the hook of a DUI, right? Well, actually, that isn't the case. Sure, you can refuse the breath test if you want to -- but that doesn't mean it's a good idea.
There was at one time a public service ad campaign with a memorable tagline: "friends don't let friends drive drunk." In the near future, a car might be a sort of friend to many people by showing them movies, playing favorite songs, checking on traffic and weather reports and by not allowing them to drive while impaired by alcohol.
Many drivers are unsure of what their rights are when it comes to DUI traffic stops. Breath tests and other blood-alcohol tests in particular cause a lot of confusion. Do you have to take a breath, blood or urine test just because a police officer tells you to? What happens if you say "no"?
Denver's CBS TV affiliate reports that a man visiting a famous Colorado skiing area has been accused of mistaking a silver Jeep Cherokee for a silver Ford Escape. That was the first in a string of mistakes by the man, according to Steamboat Springs police.