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Breath test refusal and express consent

The average Colorado driver is very much aware of the serious consequences that can come with a drinking and driving arrest and conviction. For this reason, when one is stopped and law enforcement begins asking questions that indicate their suspicion that the driver has been drinking and driving, it is likely that the individual will become nervous. This nervousness can sometimes affect the decisions that the individual makes and the actions that the individual takes. For some, this nervousness even affects the decisions regarding complying with law enforcement requests and breath test refusal.

While the decision to refuse to take a breath test may be made in haste, the ramifications can be lasting. For example, if one refuses to comply with the request, his or her license will be suspended for a period of one year if there are no prior offenses. A second offense carries with it a two year suspension, and a third offense carries with it a three year suspension.

Colorado law requires the individual to participate in alcohol-related testing if there is a suspicion that the driver has been drinking and driving. This is referred to as express consent. By accepting the privilege of possessing a driver's license and operating a vehicle on a Colorado roadway, the driver is also giving his or her express consent to participate in such testing.

For one reason or another, however, a driver may decide that a breath test refusal is in his or her best interest. It is possible that the driver may be so nervous due to being stopped and questioned that his ability to make such a decision is hampered. When one is arrested and charged with drunk driving, that individual will want to seek legal guidance in defending the charges.

Source: colorado.gov, "Express Consent", Accessed on March 4, 2017

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