Nearly all DUI charges involve a breathalyzer test reading that provides a blood alcohol content level.
Breathalyzer Test Primary Method For CSPD
Besides field sobriety testing, the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) uses the breathalyzer as the primary tool to determine whether an individual is intoxicated.
However, it’s important to note that the breathalyzer isn’t always correct. In addition to other factors, if administered improperly, the breathalyzer can yield false results.
Understandably, it is easy to assume that the results of the breathalyzer test guarantee that you will be convicted of a DUI. And as result, you might be considering pleading guilty to avoid a seemingly futile trial.
However, all is not lost. By seeking the assistance of a seasoned Colorado Springs DUI lawyer, you will significantly boost your chances of a favorable outcome in your case.
What Are Breathalyzers And How Do They Work?
A breathalyzer is an electronic device that’s used for estimating blood alcohol content (BAC) from a person’s breath. But you should note that the breathalyzer test doesn’t directly measure the blood alcohol levels. What it does is determine the concentration of alcohol in a breath sample and calculate the corresponding BAC levels.
Olythe.io suggests that the breathalyzers used in Colorado works like this. To find the alcohol concentration, infrared spectrometry detection works through the electronic analysis of the scope of an infrared radiation beam passed through a breath sample thereby identifying molecules based on the manner they absorb light. Through this technique, spectrometers can measure the level of alcohol in the breath sample and display the results.
When it comes to testing blood alcohol concentration (BAC), sampling blood through a blood draw is the gold standard. But this technique has various limitations given that several hours can pass between the time of police detainment and a blood draw in a clinical facility.
How Accurate Is A Breathalyzer Test?
First, it is important to note the breathalyzers used by the Colorado police utilize the CMI “intoxilyzer” blood alcohol tester. These types of alcohol testers have alcohol testers that utilize infrared spectrometry (IR) alcohol detection technology.
The CMI website reports that the Inoxilyzer 800 has met DOT specifications of +/- .0005 BrAC to .100BrAC and +/- above .100 BrAC.
Colorado DUI Statute
Under Colorado’s DUI statutes, a driver who blows and is found to have a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.05 and 0.08% is presumed to be operating a vehicle while his/her ability to drive is impaired by alcohol (DWAI). Any motorist who is found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more is considered guilty of DUI.
Both are serious violations that may lead to criminal and administrative penalties should the driver be convicted of any of the offenses in a court of law.
Can I Refuse A Breathalyzer Test If Pulled Over?
According to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles, as of January 1, 2014, any refusal to take a chemical test at a traffic stop will automatically lead to a Persistent Drunk Driver designation.
The need to avoid the “Persistent drunk driver” label is sure to encourage most people to take the breathalyzer test. However, there are still many other consequences to failing to take the breathalyzer test. Below are some of the repercussions of failing to take the breathalyzer test:
- An automatic one-year suspension of your driver’s license. Apply for its reinstatement after 2 months.
- Mandated enrollment in an alcohol and drug education program
- The installation of an ignition interlock device, otherwise known as IID, on your car for at least 12 months once your driving privileges have been reinstated.
Besides the above penalties, the refusal to submit yourself to a breathalyzer test can serve as admissible evidence of guilt should your DUI case go to trial. For most individuals, this is as serious as being labeled a persistent drunk driver.
The Bottom Line – It’s Best Not To Refuse A Breathalyzer Test
Didn’t Take The Breathalyzer Test? We Can Help
Regardless of whether you refused to take a breath or blood test, or you failed one, you could be facing some very serious penalties should you be convicted. Besides serving possible jail time, facing hefty fines, and having your driving privileges suspended or terminated, a DUI conviction can seriously harm your personal and professional reputation.
But all is not lost, the experienced team of DUI attorneys at The Law Office Of Jeremy Loew can help you avoid conviction entirely or have your charges reduced.
We will evaluate your case, advise you on your available legal options, and poke holes in the prosecution’s case to safeguard your rights, freedom, and most importantly, your reputation.
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