BLOOD & BREATH TESTS DUI
Getting arrested for DUI can be a traumatic experience, especially in Colorado, where the penalties are severe. If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, the police officer may ask you to take a blood or breath test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
However, these tests are inaccurate and can be challenged in court. In this ultimate guide, we will provide you with everything you need to know to challenge Colorado DUI blood and breath tests and protect your rights in court.
Understanding Colorado DUI Laws
Before we dive into challenging DUI blood and breath tests, we must understand Colorado DUI laws. Here are some key things you need to know:
- In Colorado, driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is illegal.
- If you are under 21, it is unlawful to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system.
- Colorado has an “express consent” law, which means that if you refuse to take a blood or breath test, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least one year.
- The penalties for DUI in Colorado include fines, jail time, community service, and mandatory alcohol education classes.
How Blood and Breath Tests Work
Blood and breath tests measure the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. Here’s how they work:
- Blood tests require a blood sample to be taken from your arm and sent to a lab for analysis.
- Breath tests use a breathalyzer device to measure the amount of alcohol in your breath.
- Both tests have a margin of error and can be affected by factors such as your body weight, metabolism, and the type of alcohol you consume.
Challenging DUI Blood and Breath Tests
You can challenge the results in court if you have been charged with DUI based on a blood or breath test. Here are some strategies that can be used to challenge DUI blood and breath tests:
- Accuracy of the Testing Equipment: The accuracy of the testing equipment can be challenged by questioning whether the equipment was calibrated and maintained correctly. If the equipment was not functioning properly, the results might not be accurate.
- Chain of Custody: The chain of custody refers to handling and analyzing the blood sample. The defense can challenge the chain of custody by questioning whether the sample was contaminated or tampered with during the testing process.
- Officer’s Training and Experience: The officer who administered the test must be appropriately trained and experienced in conducting DUI tests. If the officer did not follow the proper procedures, the results might not be accurate.
- Rising Blood Alcohol: Rising blood alcohol is a defense that argues that your BAC was below the legal limit when driving, but it increased while you were being tested. This can happen if you consume alcohol shortly before driving.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions can affect the accuracy of DUI blood and breath tests. For example, acid reflux can cause the breathalyzer to produce a falsely high reading.
BLOOD & BREATH TEST FAQ'S
Q: Can I refuse a blood or breath test in Colorado?
A: Under Colorado’s express consent law, you can refuse to take a blood or breath test, but your driver’s license will be suspended for at least one year.
Q: Can I challenge a DUI blood or breath test in court?
A: Yes, you have the right to challenge the results of a DUI blood or breath test in court. The strategies for challenging the results include questioning the accuracy.
Q: Can I still be charged with DUI if I refuse to take a blood or breath test?
A: You can still be charged with DUI even if you refuse to take a blood or breath test. The prosecutor can use your refusal as evidence of guilt.
Q: How long will a DUI conviction stay on my record in Colorado?
A: A DUI conviction in Colorado will stay on your record for at least ten years.
In closing, getting arrested for DUI in Colorado can have serious consequences, including fines, jail time, and losing your driver’s license. If you are charged with DUI based on a blood or breath test, it’s important to remember that you have the right to challenge the results in court. By understanding Colorado DUI laws, how blood and breath tests work, and the strategies for challenging the results, you can protect your rights and potentially avoid a DUI conviction. Remember always to seek the advice of an experienced DUI attorney if you find yourself in this situation.