Can I Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test?

Can I Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test?

If a police officer pulls you over due to the fact that he or she suspects you have been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be asked to take a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. In these cses, there are certain things you should know.

First of all, the handheld breathalyzers that officers carry in their vehicles are simply a means by which the officer can obtain probable cause for placing you under arrest. This way, further blood/breath tests can be administered at the police station to more accurately determine your BAC.

You do have the right to decline to participate in a roadside, preliminary breath test or field sobriety tests. These types of tests are not admissible in court and your driver's license will not be automatically suspended if you refuse such tests. If you do decline, yet the officer still has probable cause to place you under arrest for a suspected DUI, there is a strong possibility that you will be arrested on the spot.

Expressed Consent Law

From the moment you are placed under arrest, according to Colorado's expressed consent law, you are legally obligated from that point forward to consent to blood tests, breath tests, urine tests, and any other tests deemed necessary to determine your BAC or to test for the presence of drugs. The results of these tests are admissible in court, and any refusal to take a breathalyzer test can and will be used against you by the prosecution.

The state will also automatically suspend your driver's license for a period of one year should you refuse to submit to this type of testing.

In comparison, a first-time DUI conviction only carries a 90-day suspension of your driver's license. In situations where the individual suspected of drunk driving causes an accident resulting in serious injuries or a fatality, he or she may be compelled to take the breathalyzer test, blood test or other similar test.

Failing a Breath Test

Failing a breathalyzer test does not guarantee a conviction. There are many factors and circumstances which are capable of causing a false positive reading on a breathalyzer testing machine. The most effective way to challenge a DUI charge or the results of a breathalyzer test is to obtain legal counsel from a skilled Denver DUI attorney at once.

Contact a DUI Attorney in Denver, CO

For many years, the Law Office of Christopher H. Cessna has been successfully defending the rights of those accused of DUI. We understand the impact a DUI arrest and/or conviction can have on your life and we are committed to doing everything possible to dispute any false or inaccurate test results. To find out how we can help you fight back against DUI charges, contact our firm.