This guide is designed to assist people that have been charged with a DUI in Colorado.
Don't Drive Drunk. The best way to avoid a DUI is to not drive drunk. In the age of Uber, Lyft, and cell phones that can call people from nearly any location, there really is no excuse to drive drunk.
Don't agree to do roadside tests. "Standard Field Sobriety Tests," also known as "roadsides," are set up for you to fail. These tests are very subjective, meaning that if 10 different police officers gave the same person roadsides, there would be 10 different results and 10 different opinions as to whether or not that person is too drunk to drive. The tests are not reliable and more often than not, they do more harm than good.
Don't agree to blow into a portable breathalyzer. (Do not confuse a PBT with an express consent breathe test, which involves a breathe test machine at the police station.) Portable breath tests, also known as "PBT's" are not admissible in a jury trial. They are not admissible in trial because they do not comply with Colorado Department of Health guidelines that govern how these tests should be conducted. PBT's can however, be used by police to create probable cause for your arrest. If you do one of these tests, you have a lot to lose and not much to gain.
Do not resist arrest and do not be rude. When people drink too much, they act belligerent and rude. By acting polite and remaining calm you take the wind out of the sails of any argument that you were "belligerent and drunk."
If you are going to do a test, do a blood test and avoid the breathe test. (Do not confuse a PBT with an express consent breathe test, which involves a breathe test machine at the police station.) If a police officer has probable cause to believe you are driving drunk, the police officer could ask you to do a blood or breath test. Under the law, you have given "implied consent" that you agree to such a test if a police officer believes you are driving drunk. One of the reasons blood tests tend to be more accurate is because less can go wrong. With a breathe test a short list of some of the things that could go wrong include: power surges, cell phones, body temperature, body weight, machine temperature, simulator solution temperature, radio frequencies, mouth contaminates, heartburn, certain medications, machine malfunctions, improper maintenance, and improper training by the police officer administering the test.
Another complication from breath tests is that not everybody absorbs alcohol in their blood at the same rate. The machine does not care about this because it uses an average, or the the "partition ratio." This ratio assumes that for every 2,100 milliliters of breath, there is 1 milliliter or alcohol in your blood. Body temperature, the temperature in the room where the test is conducted, whether you are dehydrated and many other factors can effect whether or not this ratio is accurate. Additionally, studies have shown that some people can have a partition ratio as low as 1:1100 while others have one as high as 1:3000.
Even assuming there are no complications from any of these things, the breathe test machine still has an error rate.
The other thing about a blood test to keep in mind is that you will be given a second sample to test on your own, With a breathe test, there is no sample you can have retested. You are stuck with whatever the machine says.
Contact the DMV about your privilege to drive. Even though being charged with a DUI can impact your privilege to drive, you still might have some options available to preserve your privilege to drive. Some of these options expire shortly after you are charged, so it is important to contact the DMV right away.
Make a list of evidence and witnesses that might help. If you only had one drink at the bar, your defense is much stronger if you can present testimony from several witnesses on this fact. Write down what you did leading up to the DUI arrest, including everything that happened after the police stopped you. Your attorney needs to know all of the facts, good and bad, in order to give you the best defense possible.
You Will Need An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney.
If you have been accused of DUI or DWAI and your future is in jeopardy, do not go into the fight without an experienced advocate. Choosing an experienced lawyer is the best decision you can make early on in your case. Mr. Merson defense people with pending DUI charges in Longmont, Berthoud, Erie, Firestone, Frederick, Lyons, Mead, Niwot, or Dacono. To schedule a free consultation, call The Merson Law Office at 970-219-2923 or 303-776-3511. Or fill out an intake form here.
Merson Law Office, LLC 636 Coffman, Suite 200 Longmont, Colorado 80501 firstname.lastname@example.org (970) 219-2923 or (303) 776-3511 Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.