According to Denver criminal lawyer John Buckley, DUI arrests almost always begin with a traffic stop. If you see the flashing lights of a police car behind you, it’s important that you know what to expect if you are under suspicion of driving under the influence.
First, the police officer will approach your vehicle and ask for your license and registration. He may ask you a few other questions if he has reason to believe that you were drinking. For example, he may ask if you’ve consumed any alcohol or if you know why he is pulling you over. Remember, you are only required to give your name, driver’s license, and registration. Besides that, keep the conversation to a minimum.
If the police officer believes you are intoxicated, he may then ask you to perform either a preliminary breath test or a series of field sobriety tests. Drivers can decline these tests without penalties. Field sobriety tests are unreliable, so it’s not recommended that you agree to do these. If you agree to the preliminary breath test, the police officer may let you leave if you have a BAC lower than 0.05%. If you have a BAC at or above 0.05%, the police officer will likely arrest you for driving while ability impaired. If your BAC is above 0.08%, the police officer will arrest you for driving under the influence.
Blowing above a 0.08% on the preliminary breath test gives the officer probable cause to believe you are intoxicated. At this point, the express consent law applies and you will no longer be able to decline taking tests without being penalized. Preliminary breath test results cannot be used as evidence against you in court, so another test must be conducted. The officer will ask you to choose between a breath test and a blood test unless he suspects that you are under the influence of drugs, in which case he will not offer the breath test as an option. Learn about Colorado DUI: refusal to take a blood, breath, or urine test
If you choose a breath test, the police officer has the authority to take away your driver’s license if you blow above a 0.08%. However, you have the right to a hearing with the DMV to challenge this. If you choose a blood test, two vials of blood will be taken. One of these vials will be sent for testing while the other will be stored so you can conduct independent testing on it if needed. After taking the tests, you will be booked and possibly released on bail to a loved one. Depending on the jurisdiction, you may have to post a bond.
If you have been charged with DUI, contact the Law Office of John Buckley right away. We work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley
as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your case.