Understanding Colorado's Expressed Consent Law


Colorado’s DUI laws include an “expressed consent” law, which means you automatically consent to undergo a chemical test if you’ve been arrested by an officer who has reason to suspect that you’ve been driving under the influence. You must be given the test within two hours of when you last operated a vehicle, and you’ll be given a choice of what type of test you want to take – officers can test your breath or blood to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). Once you decide which test you’ll be taking, you cannot change your mind.

The arresting officer can also perform a preliminary breath test before an arrest has been made that can be used to confirm his or her suspicions that you’ve been drinking. The preliminary test is similar to a field sobriety test, and you have a right to refuse the test. In fact, the officer should tell you that you don’t have to take the preliminary test.

What if I refuse to take a BAC test?

Refusing to take the mandatory BAC test under the state’s expressed consent law can lead to a license suspension. The severity of the suspension depends on whether this is your first or subsequent DUI offense. If you choose to refuse the mandatory chemical test, a police officer cannot force you to undergo the test. If the DUI-related caused injury or the death of another person, you can be physically restrained in order to take the test.

We Can Help With DUI Charges

Taking a mandatory chemical test is not the same as a conviction. Regardless of the test results, you should not hesitate to call the Law Office of Joseph A. Lazzara, P.C. immediately after a DUI arrest. As a Denver DUI defense attorney, I understand how the criminal justice system can leave you feeling hopeless. At the Law Office of Joseph A. Lazzara, P.C. hope is anything but lost. With a skilled defense on your side, you can rest assure that your rights will be protected every step of the way.

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