Factors to consider when deciding to submit to BAC tests in CO DUI stops

Factors to consider when deciding to submit to BAC tests in CO DUI stops

To submit or to not submit to chemical testing can be a pivotal choice for motorists during DUI stops, as both options may have pros and cons, depending on the specifics of the situation.

To help you make an informed decision if you are ever suspected of impaired driving during a traffic stop, below, we have revealed the potential impacts of each option.

If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges now, however, and you need some clear advice regarding your best defense options, don’t hesitate to contact a Boulder DUI lawyer at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates.

Submitting to BAC Tests in DUI Stops: Potential Pros versus Cons

Agreeing to take a breath or blood test during a DUI stop can provide law enforcement officials with some definitive evidence of impairment. In fact, BAC test results are often the backbones of DUI cases, as they can establish how intoxicated a motorist likely was at the time of the traffic stop.

While that can certainly be a significant downside to agreeing to submit to BAC testing, it is important for motorists to understand the potential benefits, which may include:

  • Not violating the express/implied consent law – This law requires drivers to submit to BAC testing if law enforcement officers have probable cause to suspect impairment during a traffic stop. So, agreeing to submit to this testing will preclude any automatic penalties (due to breaking this law) from coming into play.
  • The possibility that BAC test results are not reliable – Drivers need to remember that BAC tests are not always properly administered, the samples are not always properly analyzed, and the results are not always accurate. An experienced lawyer can help reveal when BAC test results are less than reliable or accurate.

BAC Test Refusals: Potential Pros versus Cons

Alternatively, motorists can choose to refuse BAC testing during a DUI stop, in which case they may be preventing authorities from obtaining definitive test results to establish impairment. With BAC test refusals, however, the downsides can include:

  • An automatic driver’s license suspension – This is the automatic penalty referred to above that will come into play when BAC tests are refused by drivers. The length of the suspension will depend on whether motorists have ever refused BAC testing before (and, if they have, the suspension will usually increase by 1 year for every prior refusal).
  • The refusal being used as evidence of impairment – Although motorists may think they are limiting evidence of impairment by refusing BAC testing, ironically, their very refusals can be used to try to prove they were intoxicated (as prosecutors may and can argue that the refusal was due to the fact that the driver knew (s)he was impaired).

When drivers may have very high BACs during a DUI stops (e.g., 0.15 or higher), BAC test refusals may provide the benefit of staving off harsher penalties (which can be invoked due in cases associated with greater BACs).

Contact a Boulder DUI Attorney at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates

When DUI charges threaten your freedom and future, an experienced Boulder DUI attorney at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates will be here for you, ready to immediately start defending you and protecting your rights and interests. Our primary concern is protecting your constitutional rights throughout the criminal process while helping you obtain the best possible outcome to your case.

To talk about your defense and how we can help you, call us today at (720) 863-7755 or email us using the contact form on this page.  We offer complimentary consultations, and we take pride in always being available to our clients – 24 hours per day, 7 days per week – so that they have the personal attention their case deserves.