If a police officer believes a driver is under the influence or impaired following a field sobriety test, the driver would normally be placed under arrest. Once under arrest, the police officer should then move to the chemical test stage of the DUI stop.
Once a chemical test is complete, the arresting officer will either release the driver, send them to detox or send them to jail, depending on the results of their test and circumstance of their case. It’s advised you contact a DUI attorney if you have been arrested or charged with the offense.
DUI Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs
At the Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, we understand people make mistakes. As such, we treat our clients with dignity and respect. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC attorneys have decades of expertise assisting clients with DUI charges and related offenses. We are well respected in the legal community and always provide quality legal assistance to our clients.
Please take advantage of our free consultation if you have any questions regarding pending charges. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to meet with us. The Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC represents clients in areas such as Colorado Springs, Denver, and Littleton.
- Chemical Test
- What Happens After the Chemical Test?
- Consequences from the Department of Motor Vehicles
- Additional Resources
In Colorado, an officer will require the suspected DUI driver to submit to a chemical test once they are arrested. If the officer believes the substance the driver used is alcohol, they should give the suspect a choice of either a blood or breath test. These two tests are used to determine a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or breath alcohol concentration (BrAC)
Listed below are characteristics of each alcohol chemical tests:
- Breath test: Results from a breath test are immediately available to the officer. If a driver’s BAC is .08 or higher, the officer will charge the person with driving under the influence. If the driver’s BAC is between .05 and .079, the charge will be a lesser offense of driving while ability impaired (DWAI).
- Blood test: Blood test results are not immediately, so the arresting officer will generally charge the drive with DUI following the test. Prosecutors should drop the charges if the results end up being below the numbers mentioned above. But keep in mind; prosecutors can still proceed with DUI charges based on the officers’ observations.
If an officer believes a driver is on illicit drugs, marijuana or prescription drugs, they will offer the person a choice between a blood or urine test. These tests are used to determine the amount of drugs or marijuana in a driver’s system.
A person driving in Colorado has automatically “expressed consent” to take a chemical test once an officer has reasonable suspicion the driver is under the influence. If the DUI suspect refuses to take the test, that person will have their Colorado driving privileges revoked for one year for a first-time refusal. There is a chance a driver will be issued a restrictive license after three months on a first-time refusal.
What Happens After the Chemical Test?
Once a driver has submitted to a chemical test, an officer will generally do one of the following:
- Release the driver: An officer is not required to place a person in jail for DUI. In most situations, the driver will be issued a ticket, given a date to appear in court and promise to appear. The driver will then be allowed to contact someone for a ride such as friends or family, rideshare service or walk. Sometime, a nice officer will give them a ride.
- Detox: An officer may place a driver in detox if they believe the person is intoxicated to a point it poses a risk of overdosing. The police officer may also place a driver in detox if they believe the person is too intoxicated to make it home safely.
- Jail: Although it’s uncommon for a DUI suspect to be placed in jail the day they are arrested, an officer does have the discretion to incarcerate the suspect and make them post bond. A suspect increases their chances of being jailed if they were combative with the officer, are charged with other serious charges or is a flight risk. Sometimes an officer will place a suspect in jail because the cop takes it personally the driver exercised their right to remain silent, refused to complete field sobriety or chemical test or simply did not get along with the officer.
Consequences from the Division of Motor Vehicles
When a driver’s BAC is .08 or higher (.02 for drivers under 21) the results are sent to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV). The DMV will then revoke the driving privileges of the person charged. However, the driver does have the right to an administrative hearing for the revocation of their driving privileges.
Since the results of a breath test are instant, the officer will confiscate the driver’s license and issue a seven-day license if they blow a .08 or higher. The driver then has seven days to request an administrative hearing from the DMV. Once the hearing is requested, the seven-day license will be exchanged for a temporary license that is good for 60 days or until the hearing, whichever occurs first.
A license driver’s license will not be confiscated if the suspect agreed to a blood test since the results are not immediately available. Results will be sent to the DMV if they are .08 or higher. The DMV will then send the driver a letter notifying the driver their license is going to be suspended. The driver will be granted a seven-day license and have the right to request an administrative hearing.
Failing to request a hearing within seven days of receiving the seven-day license will resulting in the hearing being waived and the driver’s license being revoked for DUI.
Motor Vehicle Hearings Procedures | Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles – Visit the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles website to learn more about administrative hearings for license suspensions. You can find information on expressed consent and DUI revocation and learn about other offenses that result in a license suspension.
Driving Under the Influence | Colorado Revised Statutes – Being aware of state laws will make you a better-informed citizen and prepare you for legal proceedings. You can read through the section of the revised statutes governing driving under the influence by following the link.
DUI Defense Lawyer in Colorado Springs
The information on this page is not intended to be legal advice. Legal advice can only be provided by an attorney in a private setting. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC provides free initial consultations to those accused of driving under the influence and other related offenses just call (719) 328-1616. We are located in Colorado Springs but regularly represent clients charged in other counties including Denver County and Arapahoe County.