September 29, 2022
When you’re pulled over by police, you may feel as if you’re in a vulnerable position – especially if you’ve been drinking.
However, it’s important to keep sight of the fact that you have rights, and the police are supposed to follow certain procedures to ensure those rights are not violated. If they don’t, then the case against you, no matter how strong, can be dismissed.
A prime example is occurring in Colorado Springs right now. A court order out of El Paso County says that the police violated the rights of drivers during pandemic stops because they weren’t using breathalyzer tests.
Not doing so throws the outcome of many cases into disarray, because the express consent laws in the state say that anyone pulled over under the suspicion of drunk driving can opt for either a breath or blood test. A judge has now ruled that Colorado Springs police violated the rights of drivers by not allowing the breath test option.
Of course, a DUI is a serious charge, which is why certain procedures must be followed on behalf of the police. Here’s what you need to know about DUI laws in Colorado and what the express consent law says, even in the middle of a pandemic.
What Is Express Consent?
Express consent is also called implied consent. When you get behind the wheel of a car to drive in Colorado with your state-issued license, you are giving express consent to an officer if they have reason to believe you are impaired while driving.
That officer can have you perform a breath or blood test. You are allowed to choose. What you are not allowed to do is refuse a breath or blood test. Doing so can have serious consequences, even if you are never convicted of a DUI.
Colorado DUI Laws
It is against the law to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol in Colorado. There is a legal limit to a person’s blood alcohol content, which is 0.08 percent. If a person is suspected of a DUI, and their blood alcohol content is higher than that, then they are guilty of a DUI.
Penalties for DUIs in Colorado
If you are found guilty of a DUI, many consequences can be faced. And each DUI you are convicted of comes with harsher penalties as well.
You can serve up to 12 months in jail and pay fines up to $1,000. You might also need to complete up to 96 hours of community service, have your license suspended for nine months, and add 12 DMV points to your license.
This can also be punished by up to 12 months in jail, but it has an increased fine of $1,500 and increased community service hours – up to 120. 12 DMV points are added to your license, and you can lose your license for up to one year. An ignition interlock device may also be required for two years.
For a third DUI, you can spend up to 12 months in jail and pay fines up to $1,500. You are looking at 120 hours of community service as well, but your license can be suspended for up to two years. You may be required to install an ignition interlock device. 12 DMV points will be added to your license, and you may have to complete alcohol education classes and two years of probation.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.