Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC Oct. 18, 2019

In Colorado, when law enforcement initiates a stop to investigate a potential driving under the influence case, there is implied consent that the driver must submit to a test to determine their blood-alcohol concentration. That means the driver is obligated to take the test when requested to do so.

A blood or breathalyzer test refusal will lead to separate charges. Understanding the law for submitting to these tests is important as part of a DUI defense. There are certain aspects that can be critical to the case and people are frequently unaware of them. One is if there were extraordinary circumstances.

When the officer requests that a person take a blood or breath test to determine BAC, a person who is age 21 or older can ask that there be a blood test instead of a breathalyzer test. When the officer wants to give the test, the driver must take the test within two hours. However, there could be extraordinary circumstances that warrant a delay. The officer can determine whether extraordinary circumstances exist that will prevent the completion of the test within those two hours. If that is the case, then the officer can order the person to take the other test. The person is required to take that test as ordered.

If the person asks to take either test and is told of extraordinary circumstances, he or she can then ask to take the test that is not hindered by those circumstances. This is done as an act of compliance. If the person changes the choice of testing, it will not be categorized as a test refusal of any kind. To be considered extraordinary circumstances, the situation must be out of the officer’s control or the legal authority. These include weather, medical personnel being unavailable, a power outage, the testing equipment malfunctioning and other issues that keep the testing and collection from being completed in a timely manner. Inconvenience and minor delays are not considered extraordinary circumstances.

Being charged with breath test refusal as part of a DUI investigation can be problematic as a conviction can lead to jail, fines a driver’s license suspension and more. The testing can be affected by the timing of it and if there is a window for defense based on any factor related to this, it is important to have legal help. A law firm will understand all DUI laws including extraordinary circumstances for the testing procedure. Calling for help with drunk driving defense might be the most important aspect to consider in dealing with the case.