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Oct 17

Quick Tip: In Colorado Always Refuse The PBT Test - Personal Breath Test When You Refuse The Roadsides

October 17, 2015 – By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer

From the time you are stopped for a traffic offense – to the time you are arrested for DUI – the goal of the investigating police officer is to build a case against you. If you believe there is even the slightest chance you are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs (and hopefully you know this) it is advisable NOT to make the police officer’s case stronger through “unnecessary” cooperation.

Understanding And Exercising Your Constitutional Rights At A DUI Traffic Stop

While you do not have the right to call your lawyer at the scene of a DUI investigation, you do have many rights AFTER you provide your drivers license, registration (if requested) and proof of insurance. You must provide these under Colorado law. You must also exit your car if you are asked to do so. That is the last thing you need to do voluntarily under Colorado law with one exception I will discuss in a minute.

What You Do NOT Have To Do At The Scene Of A Colorado DUI Investigation

After you have provided the items mentioned and, if asked, are standing outside your vehicle you:

1. Do not have to answer ANY questions such as:

  • do you know why I stopped you?
  • where are you coming from?
  • what did you leave the place you are coming from?
  • where you are going?
  • who you were with?
  • how much you had to drink? Over what period of time?
  • did you eat anything?
  • do you have drugs or alcohol in your vehicle?
  • may I search your vehicle? (never consent to this)

2.  Do not have to do the Roadside Sobriety Tests

End of story – unless you are stone cold sober – NEVER EVER DO THE ROADSIDE SOBRIETY TESTS. They are voluntary and you must consent to perform them. They often will form the basis of the case against you at trial.

3.  Do NOT Take The Handheld – PBT – Personal Breath Test At The Scene

The PBT is the very small handheld device the officer uses at the scene to bolster his or her decision regarding the probable cause necessary to place you under arrest. The PBT along with the ROADSIDES, answers to the officer’s questions (see above) any “bad driving,” and the officer’s observations of your movements, speech and other “indicia” of alcohol intoxication are ALL used to support the arrest for DUI and the requirement that you take what is commonly known as the Express Consent Test.

A refusal to take the Intoxilizer or a Blood Test, unlike the PBT test, does have implications for your driver’s license and you must answer the question, after the officer explains the law to you, “which test do you want to take.”

Colorado’s Express Consent Law:

…requires any Colorado driver to consent to a chemical test if a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person is driving under the influence or their ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired because of alcohol, drugs or both. You agreed to this Law when you sign your Colorado Driver’s License at the DMV on day one.

If you refuse the express consent test, there is a one year suspension of your driving privilege, but early reinstatement after a 60 day “no driving period” is available as of January 2014 but to reinstate early, there is a requirement of a 2 year “Interlock” requirement.

Summary: Quick Tip: In Colorado Always Refuse The PBT Test – Personal Breath Test When You Refuse The Roadsides

If you are absolutely certain you will pass the PBT, it may be the tool that will end the investigation. More likely, if you are even slightly impaired, you should refuse the “roadside Blood Alcohol test or PBT as the time that will pass between the stop and the “real test” (the Intoxilizer) usually done at the police station may permit your body to metabolize enough alcohol to pass that test. In any case – most who are even slightly intoxicated will not want to cooperate with the officer’s investigation at the scene of a Colorado DUI Stop.

Summary
Quick Tip: In Colorado Always Refuse The PBT Test - Personal Breath Test When You Refuse The Roadsides
Article Name
Quick Tip: In Colorado Always Refuse The PBT Test - Personal Breath Test When You Refuse The Roadsides
Description
From the time you are stopped for a traffic offense - to the time you are arrested for DUI - the goal of the investigating police officer is to build a case against you. If you believe there is even the slightest chance you are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs (and hopefully you know this) it is advisable NOT to make the police officer’s case stronger through "unnecessary" cooperation.
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