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Should you agree to take a chemical test for DUI?

When an officer pulls you over on suspicion of drunk driving, he or she will likely require you to take a test to determine intoxication. One may be a field sobriety test that examines your coordination and other skills, which is not reliable and not a requirement either.

Another request may be for a chemical test, likely using a breathalyzer at the scene. What should you do in this case?

The consequences of not taking the test

Colorado law demands that you consent to take a chemical test. If you refuse to do so, then you face harsher penalties. You automatically lose your license for a year with no option to petition for a probationary license. You may be eligible for early reinstatement after going two months without driving, but you also will have to use an ignition interlock device for two years and enroll in an alcohol education program. On the plus side, without numerical evidence, the prosecution may have a harder time building a strong case against you.

The consequences of taking the test

If you agree to take the test, then the legal penalties will depend on the circumstances of your case, such as your BAC. However, your test results provide the prosecution with strong evidence against you. It can be harder to fight against a DUI conviction and prove the inaccuracies of the test.

How to respond

For a thorough weight of the pros and cons, ask to speak to a criminal defense attorney first. A lawyer may advise you as to whether or not to consent to the test and which test to take (breath or blood). A blood test may be the better choice because you will receive one sample you can have a third-party test to ensure accurate results from the police's lab report. You will not have this option with a breath test.

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