What to Do if Stopped for DUI in Colorado
If you are stopped by the police and examined for a possible DUI arrest:
DO Remain Silent:
You have a Constitutional Right to remain silent, and that can never be used against you in court. In other words, if your case were to eventually go to trial, the prosecutor would not be allowed to tell the jury that you did not answer any of the arresting officer’s questions. So if you are asked if you have had anything to drink, do not answer the question. In fact, do not answer any questions at all – except you should tell the officer your name, address, and date of birth. (You should also provide your license, registration, and proof of insurance when you are asked for them.)
DO Take a Breath Test at the Police Station or Hospital:
At some point the officer is supposed to ask you if will submit to a chemical test of your blood. You should agree to take the test, and should choose the breath test rather than the blood test. The breath test you should agree to take is performed using a large machine that sits on a table-top – not the small, hand-held one.
DO Be Polite with the Police Officer(s):
There is nothing to be gained by being aggressive, angry, or rude with the police. If you do ultimately have to take a conviction for the DUI charge, and are then sentenced by the judge, you do not want the prosecutor to stand up and say that you were swearing at the police officers.
DO NOT Perform Roadside Tests:
These tests are voluntary. If the officer is intent on arresting you, you can expect the officer to say that you failed the roadside or field sobriety tests. You should not participate in building the prosecutor’s case against you.
DO NOT Take a Hand-Held Breath Test:
The officer may ask you to blow into a small hand-held breath machine while you are still at the scene of your traffic stop. This test is called a “Preliminary Breath Test,” or “PBT.” You should not take this test. Your refusal to take this “PBT” test cannot be used against you later in court.
DO NOT Demand to Speak to an Attorney Before Taking the Breath Test:
You do not have the right to speak with an attorney before you must decide whether to take the formal breath test at the police station. If you insist upon talking to an attorney first, you will lose your opportunity to take the test, and it will be called a “refusal” by the police.
DO Give Us a Call for a Free Consultation:
We can help you understand your situation and your case, and give you advice about what you should do now.