Your Rights and BAC Testing
When you drive on Colorado roads, you are automatically agreeing to submit a BAC test if an officer suspects you have been drinking and driving. This is known as express consent. Even though you have consented to this test by driving in Colorado Springs, you do have rights. Colorado drivers have the right to:
- Choose between a DUI blood test or a DUI breath test
- Have those tests administered promptly and within a reasonable amount of time (two hours)
- Refuse to take a BAC test
Blood Test vs Breath Test
There are significant differences between blood and breath tests. Both tests will determine the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream, but blood testing has some advantages. Namely, they are less prone to errors. When officers use breath tests in the field, you may get arrested for DUI even when you are not truly intoxicated. That is because breathalyzers can be improperly calibrated or administered. If an officer makes a mistake while administering these tests, you will pay the price.
Blood tests must be administered by a qualified medical professional. A sample is then saved and made available for independent testing, which can help prove your innocence. Blood tests are also used in cases where drugs are thought to be involved and can reveal many substances that may have been consumed by a person prior to their driving.
The main benefit of breath tests is that they give immediate results. . Breath tests must be closely analyzed to ensure those results are accurate, as each machine must be appropriately calibrated, each officer who administers the case must be certified to do so, and the rules and procedures that ensure accurate results must be followed. If the procedures are not followed, your attorney may be able to get the results thrown out, or challenge their accuracy. The major downside to a breath test is there is no way to take a second sample of your breath and have it preserved to ensure accuracy.
No matter what type of BAC test you submitted, the Colorado Springs DUI defense attorneys at Liberty Law Center can help you challenge the results. We know that so many aspects of your life hang in the balance after a DUI arrest. We want to help keep you out of jail, save your license, and get the charges against you reduced or even thrown out altogether.
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) and Colorado Springs DUI
When you are arrested, you may hear officers and prosecutors talking about BAC levels. BAC levels refer to the percentage of your blood that is concentrated with alcohol. The law uses BAC levels to determine how “drunk” you truly are.
The higher your blood alcohol concentration, the more effects you will feel. For example, a driver with a BAC of .10 may experience slurred speech, staggering, decreased motor functioning and depressed reflex skills. A driver with a BAC of .20 may suffer with loss of consciousness and loss of understanding.
In the state of Colorado, drivers with a BAC over 0.08 are considered to be driving impaired and officers will arrest them and charge them with DUI. Colorado also has a zero tolerance policy for minors. This means that minors under the age of 21 with any amount of alcohol in their blood are considered to be driving impaired and can be arrested for DUI.
Refusing a BAC Test
Unfortunately, if you refuse a BAC test, you will face serious consequences. The law requires you to submit to a BAC test if you are suspected of drunk driving. Consequences for refusing my include:
- Automatic suspension of your driver’s license
- Mandatory alcohol and drug treatment
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
- SR-22 insurance
- Admissibility of your guilt
- Designation as a Colorado Persistent Drunk Driver