Should You Submit To Denver Roadside DUI Tests?

August 08, 2014

roadside DUI TestDriving when you are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs can lead to penalties where you might lose your driver’s license or even end up in jail. When you are suspected of drunk driving, you may have to undergo certain DUI tests including the Preliminary Breathalyzer Tests. And if you happen to be in this situation, should you submit to Denver roadside DUI tests?

Contrary to what many would thing, roadside tests for drivers suspected of drunk driving are done voluntarily. Most officers would say that drivers refusing to undergo these tests will automatically lose their license for a year.

Although it is true that once you refuse a test, you can lose your license, you do not incur penalties if ever you refuse to undergo voluntary roadside tests.

Establishing Probable Cause

When you are caught drunk driving in Colorado, officers need to establish probable cause before you are arrested. You cannot just be arrested out of the blue. You will have to submit to a test. Officers can only establish probable cause if you undergo the so-called Standard Field Sobriety Tests. Developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the aim of these tests is to find cues for impairment brought about by alcohol intake. SFST made use of three different tests to help officers examine a person’s physical and cognitive abilities which can help them establish the probable cause for drunk driving.

The SFST include the following tests:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)
  • One-Leg Stand (OLS)
  • Walk-and-Turn (WAT)

These tests are formulated and created in order to assess your condition. Operating on the assumption that they are implemented by totally neutral officers, there is a high chance that you wouldn’t be able to give ideal performance especially when you are nervous. Remember that officers are not just looking for sobriety, they are also searching for evidence that would support the “probable cause”. They need to have a solid basis before they can arrest you.

When you are asked different questions, you do not have to give answers to all. Since you are just suspected of drunk driving, you have the right to remain silent. If the police officer asks you about your health, drinking, etc., you can exercise your right not to answer the questions.

What You Need to Do

Once a police officer suspects you of drunk driving and he asks for your license, give it along with the registration details and proof of insurance. This is on the assumption that there is a specified reason for the stop. The initial response for the stop is to roll down your car’s window. Officers can make their initial assessment by looking at certain cues of intoxication. But you do not have to totally roll down your window. Just roll down a small portion just so you can hear the officer and provide the details required from you If you are arrested for DUI, you have to undergo either a breath or blood test.

Things You Do Not Have To Do

In a Colorado DUI stop, accused drunk drivers do not have to roll down their window when the officer starts asking questions. When the officers start questioning about your vehicle, health or the reason for violation, you have the right to remain silent. If you are asked to undergo voluntary roadside tests, you can say no. Unlike what most people think, these tests are voluntary except for the chemical tests that you are required to have.

Hire a Colorado DUI Lawyer

When you are arrested and you now face legal charges, it is strongly recommended that you hire a Colorado DUI lawyer who can help you with your case. Only experts in these kinds of cases can increase your chances of getting an acquittal or reduce penalties.