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Colorado Implied Consent Laws

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Posted By McAdams Law | February 1 2023 | Blog

In any state, driving is a privilege and as such, all drivers must respect the laws of that state. Once a motorist gets behind the wheel of a car or other automobile, they must follow certain rules, like no drinking and driving, respecting the speed limit and other posted signs, and any other roadway rules.

If a driver fails to follow any of these, it gives an officer probable cause to pull a driver over. Once pulled over, under certain laws, the officer has the right to obtain information from that driver, which can include administering a blood alcohol test. If you have been stopped by a police officer and were administered a test or refused one, you have rights.

What are Implied Consent Laws?

When an officer stops a driver for suspicion of driving under the influence, they typically look for signs of impairment and may request that the driver submits to a breathalyzer test to determine their blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). The state of Colorado follows the law of implied consent. By driving on any roads in Colorado, drivers must consent to a chemical test of their blood, breath, or urine to determine the blood alcohol content.

If a driver refuses to submit to testing when an officer has a reasonable suspicion that the driver is impaired, the driver faces automatic license suspension as well as additional penalties. The penalties for refusing a breathalyzer test vary by state and can likely result in an automatic suspension of up to 12 months.

Colorado Laws Regarding Implied Consent

Colorado uses the term “expressed consent” when referring to implied consent laws. The law is the same as any other implied consent state. When a motorist takes to the roadway in Colorado, they automatically consent to give a breath, blood, urine, or saliva test if validly pull-over.

Under Colorado’s law, if an officer requests a driver to give a test to determine their BAC, that person must do so, and that sample must be obtained within two hours of the stop. Unless the officer thinks the person is under the influence of alcohol and a combination of other drugs, then the driver has the option to elect what test they are administered. If the officer suspects more than just alcohol, then they can require a blood or urine test without allowing the driver to choose.

If a driver does not complete any additional test requested by an officer, then that will be seen as a complete refusal, even if a breathalyzer test was administered at the scene.

Penalties for Refusing Consent of BAC Tests

The expressed or complied consent laws in Colorado can carry significant consequences for refusing to take a test. The consequences will vary based on the number of refusals. IT will always be a suspension or revocation of a license, but the time will vary:

  • First refusal will be a one-year suspension.
  • Second refusal will be a two-year suspension.
  • Third refusal will be a three-year suspension.

If an officer has required more than a breathalyzer test and the person refuses, that officer has the right to immediately confiscate the driver’s license. If this happens, a driver is entitled to an administrative hearing.

Hiring a DUI Attorney

The DUI & Criminal Defense attorneys at McAdams Law Offices will aggressively fight to uphold your rights. Every driver must follow the rules of the road, but every driver also has their own rights.

Contact our officer at (970)-353-0000 to discuss your case when you believe your rights were violated.

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