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Blood alcohol tests and express consent

Every morning thousands of drivers start their day just like you. They get into  and start their car, pull onto the road, and head toward their particular destination. Presumably these individuals have a driver's license and know how to drive, but this is not always the case. The state of Colorado makes is called express consent.  That means by simply conducting the act of driving, the driver gives law enforcement permission to require said driver to submit to a blood alcohol tests or breath test to determine intoxication.  This law has the same force and effect whether the driver is aware of it or not.  Failure to comply for first time offenders resultes in the loss of the driver's license for one year.

Blood alcohol tests or breath tests are typically conducted if there is reason to believe that a driver is legally impaired. They often involve either taking a blood sample to determine blood alcohol levels or conducting a breath test. The results of this test are then used, along with other evidence and investigative obervations, to prove at a trial that the individual was driving under the influence of alcohol.

An officer should have probable cause to arrest for DUI or DWAI before asking a driver to conduct a blood alcohol test. However, Colorado does have express consent laws in place. This means that anyone who chooses to drive on a Colorado roadway has by law already agreed to submit to a blood alcohol test or breath test (at the driver's election between the two) if requested to do so by the police. If one refuses to participate, that information is admissible in court and will bet used automatically revoke the individual's driver's license.

Blood alcohol tests are commonly used to determine if a driver is legally impaired. Charges of DUI carry potentially serious consequences. As such, when one is facing such charges, he or she will want to work with an experienced defense attorney who knows how to review blood alcohol test data and use it to effectively manage the situation and defend his client in Colorado court.

Source: leg.colorado.gov, "Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol", June 1, 2017

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