Driving under the influence (DUI) is against the law in Colorado. Drivers accused of getting behind the wheel after drinking can face serious criminal charges. Generally, the police start this process by administering a breathalyzer test.
We can help you review everything you need to know about a Colorado Springs DUI breathalyzer test. Our team at Christian Schwaner understands DUI charges and the usage of breathalyzer devices.
Let’s review how these devices work, Colorado laws related to breathalyzer usage, and defenses allowing you to handle a “failure” on the breathalyzer test. Then, find out more by calling or completing our online contact form.
What Is a DUI Breathalyzer Test?
A breathalyzer test allows police officers to check a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Police officers can use breathalyzers on the side of the road as they operate as handheld devices. In order to perform the test:
- Police officers ask a driver to blow into a tube attached to the breathalyzer
- Scanners inside the breathalyzer measure alcohol molecules in the sample
- The breathalyzer provides a percentage for BAC
Police officers may use the results of a breathalyzer test to arrest a driver for a DUI or driving while alcohol-impaired (DWAI). Generally, drivers face DUI charges if their BAC registers at 0.08% or higher.
Drivers may face DWAI charges instead if they have a BAC between 0.05% and 0.08%.
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Do You Have to Take a Breathalyzer Test in Colorado Springs?
Some drivers wonder if they can skip a Colorado Springs breathalyzer test to avoid the results. However, Colorado has expressed consent laws that legally require you to comply with testing from law enforcement if they arrest you on suspicion of a DUI or DWAI.
The law gives you a choice between a blood or breath test. However, refusal to take a legally mandated test can result in the suspension of your driver’s license, regardless of whether you end up convicted of a DUI.
In many cases, you have a legal obligation to take a roadside – or preliminary – breath test before an arrest. You can learn more about these legal requirements with a DUI lawyer in Colorado Springs.
What Happens if You Refuse a Breathalyzer in Colorado Springs?
You have a legal obligation to perform a breathalyzer test in Colorado Springs after a DUI arrest. If you refuse the test, the state can revoke your license for a year for a first refusal. Subsequent refusals increase the penalties.
You can face a two-year license revocation for a second refusal and a three-year revocation for a third refusal. We understand the tremendous impact of losing your driving privileges. Fortunately, you can face these charges head-on with a lawyer.
What Happens if You Fail a Breathalyzer Test in Colorado Springs?
When considering everything you need to know about a Colorado Springs DUI breathalyzer test, it’s natural to wonder what happens if you fail it. In this situation, police officers and prosecutors may use the results in their case against you.
However, a failure on a breathalyzer test does not necessarily guarantee a conviction. In fact, DUI lawyers in Colorado Springs can often dispute the results of these tests for their clients.
Therefore, if you fail a breathalyzer test, it’s important to exercise your legal rights and request legal representation immediately.
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How do You Prepare for a Breathalyzer Test?
Generally, police officers do not allow you to take specific preparatory steps before they administer a breathalyzer. However, they must follow specific procedures to get valid results for the test.
For example, police officers should only administer the test after a “deprivation period” of 20 minutes. During this period, you cannot:
- Insert anything into your mouth
You’ll have to exhale deeply into the breathalyzer device and should prepare yourself for observation throughout the testing process.
Can You Drink Water Before a Breathalyzer?
Drinking water can affect the results of a breathalyzer test. Therefore, many police officers will not allow you to drink water before performing the test.
What Messes Up a Breathalyzer Test in Colorado Springs?
Several things can negatively impact your breathalyzer results in Colorado Springs. For example, individuals who take cold medicine or use cough drops before a breathalyzer test may blow a false positive.
These false positive results can occur because many medications contain trace amounts of alcohol. In addition, some foods also contain alcohol, as does mouthwash. Therefore, if you blow a false positive after using these products, make sure you share that information with your lawyer.
Can Lawyers Dispute Breathalyzer Test Results in Colorado Springs?
An experienced Colorado Springs DUI lawyer can help you dispute the results of these assessments. Your legal team may take steps to invalidate the results of your breathalyzer test by showing that:
- Police officers waited too long to administer your test
- The test administrator lacked proper qualifications
- The police officer used the wrong equipment
- The test was contaminated, leading to incorrect results
Breathalyzers already have a reputation for returning incorrect results. In addition, improperly maintained or calibrated equipment can result in erroneous results.
Additionally, some drivers simply blow different results. For example, individuals with a slow metabolism of those on a diet may end up “failing” a breathalyzer even if they were not driving under the influence.
Speak with Us About DUI Breathalyzer Tests in Colorado Springs
Contact Christian Schwaner to learn everything you need to know about Colorado Springs DUI breathalyzer tests. Allow a DUI lawyer to provide you with detailed information while working on your legal defense, starting today.
Call us or complete our online contact form to get started.