Why am I being punished for refusing a Breathalyzer?

Imagine, if you will, a scenario in which you are driving home after having a couple drinks with dinner and are stopped by police. Even if you are not impaired, it is quite likely that the officer will arrest you and ask you to submit to chemical testing - such as a breathalyzer or blood test - in order to determine your blood-alcohol-content (BAC) level.

At first glance, you may be tempted to refuse BAC testing. After all, why should you be required to give the police evidence they will surely use against you, let alone face punishment if you refuse? Well, the answer to this question can be found in Colorado's Expressed Consent law.

Understanding Expressed Consent in Colorado

Simply put, Colorado's Expressed Consent law dictates that a driver is deemed under state law to have already expressed consent to BAC testing if he or she is driving anywhere in Colorado. Therefore, if police have probable cause to believe you are driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while your ability is impaired (DWAI), they can request that you submit to testing. If you refuse, you can face penalties from the DMV, including:

  • One-year license revocation for the first refusal
  • Up to five-year license revocation for the second refusal
  • Up to five-year license revocation for the third, or subsequent, refusal

It is also important to note, even if you refuse a breathalyzer or blood test, you can still be charged with DUI and face criminal penalties if convicted, including possible jail time, fines, installation of an ignition interlock device and mandatory alcohol education classes, just to name few.

Regardless of whether the DMV has revoked your license for a refusal or a failed alcohol test, you can request a hearing to challenge your revocation. However, you only have seven days to request such a hearing - meaning you need to act fast and contact a lawyer right away.

Legal guidance is a must

If you are ever arrested for suspected drunk driving, you will face many tough choices: should I take a breath test, a blood test or refuse testing altogether? No matter your choice, you will likely need the experienced guidance of a skilled DUI defense attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer and explain your options and guide you through the complex legal process, including both DMV hearings and possible criminal proceedings. Your rights and freedom may be at stake, so contact an attorney today.

“ Fleschlaw rocks!!! ”

I had a DUI that I thought was bogus. I got Kevin and his staff on it right away. I never lost my license and he got the case dismissed at the motions hearing. Kevin told me what he thought would happen and he delivered. – John

“ Fleschlaw really helped me ”

I had two driving under suspension tickets pending. I thought for sure I was going to Jail. Kevin was able to help me understand the DMV process, get my driving privilege back and resolve the two tickets so I didn't go to Jail and I can drive again. Amazing... – Juan

“ Kevin can try a case!!!”

Kevin handled my criminal case. The DA would not make me any offers and so we went to trial. The trial took all day but Kevin made their star witness look incredible and a liar. The jury came back fast - not guilty. Kevin was great in trial!!! - Larry

“ Delighted!!! ”

I was very, very happy with the service I received from Kevin and delighted with the results. I certainly recommend Kevin to anyone that will need his type of service. I was looking at the possibility of losing my license and not only did I keep my license, but I still have points to spare! Delighted!!! - Marc

“ Fantastic Results ”

I got charged with a DUI and I didn't think the police officer should have contacted me to begin with. I knew I needed a lawyer to make the arguments for me. I interviewed several lawyers and felt comfortable with Kevin. He had to file motions and then have a hearing on the issue. His arguments were right on and the Judge granted my requests. The case was dismissed. – Wanda

“ Fleschlaw is the real deal ”

I was on probation for a DUI and I got another one. I freaked out and called Kevin. He calmed me down and worked for over 9 months and finally got my new case reduced to a reckless driving. I hate court but Kevin and his staff really worked hard and never gave up. In the end, Fleschlaw exceeded my expectations. – Derick

“ Real Lawyer that Fights for You ”

I looked around for a lawyer for a awhile. I met with Kevin and explained my case. We went to court and he got the case dismissed. He is the best. - Jimmy

“ Very good lawyer very good results ”

I was charged with DUI. I thought my life was over. Kevin met with me and really wanted to know what happened. After hearing how I was arrested, he thought the officer should not have contacted me. He was able to get my case dismissed. – Ron

“ Great Attorney ”

He was very helpful in my criminal case. He helped me stay out of jail. He is very friendly and I liked the people in his office. – Criminal Defense Client