You know that any police officer who pulls you over probably hopes to write a ticket or maybe even arrest you. Your behavior during the traffic stop will have a major impact on the outcome of your interactions with law enforcement.
The questions they ask could lead to you implicating yourself. You might try to avoid answering their questions or to push back against other investigation techniques, like a request for a chemical sample.
If you think an officer wants to accuse you of impaired driving, your first instinct might be to refuse chemical testing.
Declining a chemical test seems like the most straightforward way to keep the state from gathering evidence against you. However, many people who refuse a test quickly learn that police officers don’t take kindly to this response during a traffic stop. They will likely inform you of Colorado’s expressed consent law and arrest you if you still refuse chemical testing. What does the expressed consent law mean for you as a driver?
Expressed consent in Colorado is the same as implied consent in other states
Some people will do just about anything to avoid consequences during a traffic stop. Claiming that chemical testing is a violation of their civil rights is one approach that a driver might take. Lawmakers have already addressed such tactics by instituting implied and expressed consent laws.
State laws about driving make it clear that licensing is a privilege, not a basic civil right. Since it is a privilege, you have to agree to certain terms in order to receive and maintain your license. One of those limitations is the agreement to abide by all applicable traffic laws.
The expressed consent law says that all drivers who travel on public roads have agreed to chemical testing if an officer conducting a traffic stop has probable cause to suspect impairment.
A violation of the expressed consent law is separate from any impaired-driving allegations. You can face arrest and the loss of your license for declining a test, regardless of whether the state prosecutes you for impaired driving. If you need to protect your license after a refused chemical test or fight back against other impaired-driving charges, the sooner you start planning and reviewing your case, the better.