Colorado has an implied consent law that can affect drivers, especially those pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence. This law carries essential implications for all drivers in the state.
Understanding this law is important to making informed decisions behind the wheel.
What implied consent means
Implied Consent means that when you operate a motor vehicle on Colorado’s roads, you implicitly agree to alcohol and drug testing. This agreement is an inherent part of having the privilege of driving in the state. The state pays for this testing, which costs up to $500 per test in 2019, leading to an 88% conviction rate.
BAC testing is mandatory
One of the most serious aspects of the implied consent law is the mandatory nature of blood alcohol concentration testing. If a law enforcement officer suspects you of driving under the influence, you have to submit to BAC testing. Refusal to do so carries severe consequences.
Refusing a BAC test in Colorado leads to an automatic driver’s license suspension. For a first offense, this suspension can last up to one year. For subsequent offenses, it can extend up to three years.
Evidence in court
Prosecutors can use your refusal to submit to a BAC test against you during legal proceedings. The court may see your refusal as a sign of guilt, potentially leading to harsher penalties if convicted.
However, Colorado’s implied consent law allows for a presumption of innocence for drivers who willingly submit to BAC testing. If your BAC is under the legal limit, this evidence can establish your innocence and prevent consequences.
To stay safe and compliant with the law, make responsible decisions when it comes to drinking and driving. Remember that the choice to drive under the influence jeopardizes your well-being and has legal effects.