Breath tests are a popular tool for law enforcement to determine whether to make an arrest for suspected drunk driving. That’s in part because they are portable and fast. Additionally, unlike more invasive tests, they do not require medical professionals to administer.
However, blood testing is sometimes necessary in an impaired driving traffic stop. Sometimes, a driver might even request blood testing given how inaccurate breath tests often are. When else can police draw blood to test for alcohol impairment?
Police can get a blood test without consent when a driver is unconscious
There’s only a specific period during which law enforcement can procure a chemical sample from a suspect and use it to prove that they drove while impaired. Waiting too long can mean that the body metabolizes the alcohol, leading to inaccurate results or difficulty prosecuting that person.
If someone is unconscious at the time that police find them in their vehicle, if they pass out after arrest or if they cause a car crash and lose consciousness as a result, officers can arrange for blood testing of an unconscious suspect.
Officers can sometimes order blood testing with a warrant
Chemical test results are often key to a successful prosecution, and some drivers refuse chemical breath tests for that specific reason. When police officers arrest someone suspected of impaired driving who they believe injured another person or possibly caused a death, they can seek a warrant for a blood draw if the driver refuses to submit to chemical breath testing.
Knowing your rights regarding chemical testing can help you stand up for yourself and determine what options you have for a defense against pending criminal charges in Colorado.