When you are stopped for allegedly driving drunk or you have been officially charged with a DUI in Colorado, what you do next can impact your defense and the success of your case.
In fact, if you make certain mistakes during a DUI stop or a DUI case, you could end up compromising your rights, the strength of your defense and your future for years to come.
To make sure that you are informed about how to protect yourself, below, we will reveal some of the most common DUI mistakes to be aware of and sidestep if you ever find yourself potentially being charged with – or convicted of – a DUI in Colorado.
Common DUI Mistakes that Can Hurt a Future Defense Case
Mistake #1- Admitting to a police officer that you have been drinking alcohol
When a cop stops you for suspicion of DUI, that officer will first request your driving/insurance documents and then likely ask you questions about:
- Where you are coming from
- Where you are going
- Whether you have consumed any alcohol beverages prior to driving.
The goal of this questioning is twofold: first, officers want to see if you will simply admit to drinking, and if you do, you have just handed them evidence against you; second, cops will want to assess whether you appear to be sober versus drunk based on how you are speaking, your appearance, etc.
So, don’t help a cop make a case against you by offering up info that you were drinking before driving. While you shouldn’t lie, you also shouldn’t do anything to directly incriminate yourself if you can help it.
Mistake #2- Taking a field sobriety test when you know you won’t pass it
Did you know that you are legally permitted to refuse field sobriety testing and that you won’t incur any automatic penalties for doing so? Many drivers are NOT aware of this fact and make the mistake of submitting to this testing and, in doing so, giving cops more evidence against them (regarding impairment). While there can be ways to refute “failures” of field sobriety testing later, it’s generally better to sidestep this altogether by refusing this testing if or when there may be little chances of passing.
You should be aware, however, that refusing field sobriety testing will usually lead cops to request drivers submit to blood alcohol content (BAC) testing, which leads us to our next point…
Mistake #3- Assuming there are no consequences to refusing BAC testing
Unlike field sobriety tests, with BAC tests, there ARE automatic penalties imposed for refusals because of the Implied Consent laws in Colorado. While the penalty for refusal is typically a driver’s license suspension, the length of this suspension will vary, according to whether:
- Motorists have prior DUI convictions
- They have a history of refusing BAC testing in prior DUI stops.
Additionally, it should be noted here that BAC test refusals CAN be used against motorists in future DUI cases. This is different from nearly any other type of criminal case because, in other types of criminal cases, people’s attempts to not incriminate themselves by giving more possible evidence to cops cannot be used against them to establish guilt.
So the takeaway here is that you should be prepared for the consequences of refusing BAC testing.
Mistake #4- Pleading guilty to a DUI without first consulting a lawyer
As we noted in a previous blog, pleading guilty to drunk driving charges without consulting an experienced DUI defense lawyer is one of the biggest mistakes motorists can make. This is because a lawyer can inform people of their best defense options and what they can do to resolve their case as favorably as possible.
Contact a Colorado Springs DUI Lawyer at Kohn Law Firm
Have you or a loved one been charged with a DUI? If so, a Colorado Springs DUI lawyer at Kohn Law Firm is ready to aggressively defend your rights and help you bring your case to a successful resolution.
To learn more about how we can help you, set up a free initial consultation with us by calling us at (719) 328-9555 or by emailing us using the contact form at the top of this page. From our offices in Colorado Springs, we represent clients throughout the Pikes Peak region and Colorado.