I recently heard a “Driving While Intoxicated” attorney address several key issues on the radio. Here are some critical take aways in the State of Colorado that I present to you because it is important to understand your legal rights:
First off, don’t drink and drive… But if you happen to get into a difficult situation…
Never admit to drinking ANYTHING. Even if you’ve only had one drink, when the officer asks “have you been drinking tonight?”, the answer is NO! Admitting to having a single drink is the number one manner by which drivers are convicted of DWIs. Your words will be used against you in court and you will be charged if you admit anything.
You are NOT legally required to do a road side sobriety test. If the officer asks you to walk a line, close your eyes and touch your nose, etc… decline. You will likely fail anyway as they are difficult to pass when sober. This will lead the officer to ask you to take a chemical test (breath or blood).
If asked, you are legally required to take a chemical test. ALWAYS choose a BLOOD TEST… NEVER take a breath test. There are a multiple reasons for this:
- The blood test takes a much longer time to process. It takes several weeks to test your blood alcohol level via a blood test. This means you get to keep your license for up to six weeks longer than you would if you failed the breath test.
- Alternately, if you fail the breath test, you lose your license immediately and the process starts then and there.
- The breath test CANNOT be refuted in court. The blood test CAN be refuted.
- If you are taken to the hospital for the blood test and the hospital is busy, your body will have more time to process the alcohol.
Often the police officer will try to convince you that the breath test is a better option because, “if arrested, you will not have to stay in jail as long.” This is crap and should be ignored. Politely and consistently request the blood test. They cannot hold you for longer than 8 hours as you will either post bail or be released from detox in that time.