Implied consent or express consent refers to the legal obligation conferred on motorists if or when they are suspected of impaired driving. Per the implied consent law in Colorado, all drivers have automatically and implicitly already consented to submit blood alcohol content (BAC) testing when officers have probable cause to suspect impairment during a DUI stop.
This means that, if you are pulled over by a traffic officer for suspected DUI:
- The law requires you to submit to either breath or blood testing to evaluate your BAC.
- Refusing to submit to BAC testing will result in an automatic driver’s license suspension (the term of which will depend on whether you have prior refusals and/or DUI convictions).
Implied Consent & BAC Test Refusals: More Important Info for the Accused
- The consequences of refusals will stand regardless of what happens with the DUI charges or case – So, even if a driver is never charged with a DUI, the charges are later dropped, or the driver is ultimately acquitted of drunk driving, the penalties of violating the implied consent law will still stand. In other words, that driver will still lose his or her driving privileges no matter how the criminal case turns out.
- Refusals can be used as evidence of impairment – And this is important for motorists to understand because refusing to submit to BAC testing is usually done to try to avoid giving police more possible evidence of impairment. However, unlike with other criminal cases, with DUI cases, a refusal can be used later to try to prove impairment (by arguing, for example, that the driver only refused testing because (s)he knew (s)he was drunk).
- Refusals may work in drivers’ favor in some cases – When motorists may have extremely high BACs (like above 0.15 or 0.20), refusing BAC testing may be beneficial, as it may help them prevent harsher penalties from being invoked in their case.
Contact a Colorado Springs DUI Attorney at Kohn Law Firm
Have you or a loved one been charged with DUI? If so, a Colorado Springs DUI attorney 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.
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