Blood and breathalyzer tests are used by law enforcement to determine a driver’s BAC. Colorado’s Express Consent law says that anyone who drives a vehicle in Colorado has given consent to take a chemical test when asked to do so by a police officer with probable cause to believe that the person was driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The driver may choose to be tested using a blood test or a breathalyzer test. If your test shows a BAC over .08 and was taken within two hours of the time of driving, you may have your license revoked by the DMV regardless of what happens in your criminal case.
If you do not consent to the test, your license will be suspended for 2 years, and you will be required to drive with an interlock ignition device. If you do consent, the results of your test will be used against you to prove that you were impaired.
Law enforcement agencies use the Evidential Breath Alcohol Test (“EBAT”) to determine your BAC using your breath. The Colorado Department of Health certifies EBAT tests, and three things must be certified: 1) the EBAT facility (usually a jail or police statement), 2) the instrument used in the EBAT (usually referred to as a “breathalyzer” or “intoxilyzer”), and 3) the officer or person administering the test. An experienced attorney will look into the instrument used, the qualification of the officer administering the test, and the facility where the test was administered to determine if there is evidence to suggest that the test results are unreliable.
If a blood test is used instead, a sample is collected and then sent to an agency. The chain of custody becomes extremely important in these cases, as strict regulation of the process is the only way to ensure that the results are reliable. An experienced attorney can determine if the testing was done correctly.
Blood and breath alcohol testing is often some of the most damaging evidence the prosecution has against you in a DUI or DWAI case. If you consented to a test and the results of that test are being used against you, consult with an attorney to determine your best defense.