Colorado law enforcement agencies will ask drivers provide a chemical sample to determine if they’re driving under the influence (DUI). Adults over the age of 21 have the choice between a breath test or a blood test if an officer asks them to submit to testing. These tests are designed to measure your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC).
A blood test is considerably more reliable than a breathalyzer test, but it isn’t without fault. Blood samples can be contaminated or stored improperly leading to skewed results. Other factors such as poorly trained staff or incorrect procedures can also create false positives.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI because of a blood test, it’s imperative you seek legal representation.
DUI Attorney Explains Blood Tests in El Paso County, CO
A skilled attorney can contest a blood test in court. Get in contact with the skilled lawyers at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our team of attorneys are experienced in criminal defense, especially DUI law. We can formulate a strong defense for you today.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a consultation today. The attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC will assess the circumstances of your charges and formulate a plan to tackle your case. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC accepts clients throughout El Paso County and surrounding counties including Denver County and Arapahoe County.
Overview of Blood Tests in Colorado
- How Do DUI Blood Tests Work in Colorado?
- Issues with DUI Blood Tests in Colorado
- What Happens If I Refuse a Blood Test?
- Additional Resources
How Do DUI Blood Tests Work in Colorado?
Law enforcement agencies use chemical testing to determine your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). If the officer has probable cause you were driving intoxicated, then he will give you a choice between a breath or blood test due to express consent laws. Breath tests are typically conducted with a breathalyzer, while a blood test is performed at a lab or hospital.
Despite express consent laws, you’re not obligated to submit to a blood test. If you do, then your blood will be drawn at an appropriate facility by a certified lab technician or nurse. If your BAC is at or above .08, then you’ll be charged with a DUI. Law enforcement will send you a notice in the mail of your upcoming court dates and your license will be automatically suspended.
Issues with DUI Blood Tests in Colorado
Blood testing is known to be more accurate than breathalyzer tests. However, it isn’t flawless by any means. External and environment factors can easily skew a blood test’s results. Outdated equipment, contaminated samples and other issues could result in a false positive.
Listed below are some issues associated with DUI blood testing.
- Contaminated samples;
- Testing kit was outdated;
- Sample decomposition;
- The sample was mislabeled;
- Inadequate training of staff;
- Sample was stored incorrectly;
- Unsanitary testing conditions’
- The medical equipment wasn’t sterilized;
- The sample was contaminated by alcohol during sterilization;
- No second blood test was given;
- The second blood test gave vastly different results;
- Break in chain of custody causing confusion;
- Amount of blood taken was insufficient;
- The results were interpreted improperly; or
- The sample was tampered with
What Happens If I Refuse a DUI Blood Test in Colorado?
Express consent laws in Colorado state you’re required to submit a chemical sample if an officer has probable cause you’re driving drunk. Despite this, you can still refuse a DUI blood or breath test, but you will have to face the consequences.
Choosing to refuse DUI blood testing will result in an administrative license revocation. If you are over the age of 21 years old, then your license will be suspended for:
- 12 months for the first refusal;
- 24 months for the second refusal; and
- 36 months for the third refusal
You can contest your suspension with an administrative hearing. However, you only have seven days to file a request for the hearing with the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, even if you win the hearing and you aren’t guilty of a DUI, you must file an SR-22 o reinstate your license. Colorado also requires you to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed to your car for at least two years once your license is reinstated.
So, should you refuse DUI blood testing or not? Ultimately, the choice is up to you. There are pros and cons to refusing to comply with DUI testing. If you refuse, the prosecutor will have limited evidence of your intoxication. It might make it easier to win your case. However, the consequences surrounding a refusal are long-term and can hinder your life. In either scenario, quality legal representation can help you fight DUI allegations.
DUI Penalties – Visit the official website for the Colorado Statutes to learn their laws for driving under the influence. Access the legislation to learn their penalties, admissible defenses and legal limits for driving while inebriated.
Express Consent Laws – Visit the official website of the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR) to learn more about express consent laws. Access the statutes to see the suspension period for refusing and failing a DUI blood test and what happens if you’re a commercial driver.
DUI Lawyer for DUI Testing in Colorado Springs, CO
If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI because of a blood test, it’s important you seek legal representation. Our attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC can help you mount a strong defense against the prosecution with our years of experience. Call (719) 328-1616 to set up a consultation today with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC accepts clients throughout the greater Colorado Springs area including Fountain, Peyton, Black Forest and Manitou Springs.