Is it okay to say no to a breath test?

You know that drinking and driving is something that the state of Colorado does not treat lightly. You understand that the penalties for doing so can be significant. What you do not know is how you can help yourself should cops pull you over for suspected DUI. One way you may be able to do that is by refusing to take the breath test.

Just to be clear, implied consent laws technically require you to submit to chemical testing if authorities suspect you of driving under the influence. This, however, does not trump your right to refuse. You can if you believe doing so will be to your benefit.

It is a personal decision

At the end of the day, whether you take a breath test really is up to you. You should not feel intimidated into doing so. You should not feel like you have no other option. Before saying no, though, it is important to know what may happen to you if you do.

There are various consequences associated with breath test refusal, such as:

  • Suspension of driving privileges
  • Fines
  • Arrest

Most people do end up submitting to breath tests because they either feel they do not have a choice or they fear the consequences associated with saying no.

Why consider refusal?

While law enforcement believes that breath tests are highly accurate, they actually are not. These machines are prone to error, but proving a readout is inaccurate is not easy to do. A few things that may affect test accuracy include:

  • Administrator error
  • Improper machine maintenance
  • Machine failure

If you think you may fail this test because you had a drink or used any other product that may raise your blood-alcohol level, refusal may be in your best interest.

Can law enforcement make you do it?

If police can obtain a warrant, yes, a breath test or other chemical testing may be completed regardless if you want it done.

Help is available either way

Some attorneys say to always comply, and then there are others who recommend refusal. As previously stated, at the end of the day, what you do the moment law enforcement asks you to take a breath test is entirely up to you. Either way, legal counsel will do their best to help you tackle any consequences that may follow.

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