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Colorado DUI stops- what you have to know

04/11/13 6:30 AM

Typically Colorado DUI Stops Involve Stages

Stage One Colorado DUI:  traffic stop

The traffic stop must begin with you doing something wrong.  The officer MUST have articulable reason to pull you over.  This can range from a traffic violation such as speeding or weaving to a defective license plate. The point is there must be an articulable reason for the stop.

Stage Two Colorado DUI:  initial observations 

A first response in a traffic stop is to roll down your window.  In a Colorado DUI stop this allows the Officer to make observations such as an order of alcohol and blood-shot eyes.  These are clues that the officer uses as signs of potential intoxication and to build probable cause to arrest you.  Roll down your window only enough so that you can hear the officer and provide your license, registration and proof of insurance.

Stage Three Colorado DUI:  Questioning

Upon contact with the officer in a Colorado DUI he or she will most likely ask you to do or answer various questions- don’t be fooled.  You do not have to answer or submit to any of the questions or requests.  By framing what they want you to do as a request they are asking for your consent, if you answer or comply you just consented.

During the Colorado DUI stop, the officer will most likely ask you questions – such as “have you been drinking.”  YOU DO NOT have the answer this or similar questions.   You have a right to remain silent- exercise it.  For more information on this topic see our post in MIRANDA.

Stage Four Colorado DUI:  road side tests

If the officer asks you to complete road side tests- you can say no.  By asking, again the officer is looking for your consent.  The officer cannot force you to submit to roadside tests such as a Walk and Turn or Finger to Nose Test.

Stage Five Colorado DUI:  arrest

Upon arrest- the officer would most likely read you the express consent law this is required in a Colorado DUI stop.  Express consent provides you the choice between take a blood or breath test.  If you refuse to take either test your Colorado license would most likely be suspended for a year.

Most likely it is at this stage that you were read your Miranda rights- if you were read them at all.

What You Have To Do

  1. Do give your license, registration, and proof of insurance to the officer
  2. Do listen to the reason for the stop
  3. If arrest for suspicion of DUI you must submit to either a blood or breath test

What You Do Not Have To Do During a Colorado DUI Stop

  1. You do not have to roll down your window (a small crack in the window will allow you to hear the officer and slide your information to him)
  2. You do not have to look at the officer.
  3. You do not have to answer any of the officer’s questions regarding drinking, your health, or vehicle, or the reason for the traffic violation
  4. You do not have to submit to any voluntary roadside test or field sobriety tests

Thank you for visiting our post about Colorado DUI stops.  For additional information on DUI laws or specific information about your DUI arrest, contact us directly at (303) 747-4686 or by clicking here.

Posted by Laurie Schmidt | in DUI arrest, DUI laws, DUI Post, traffic | Comments Off on Colorado DUI stops- what you have to know

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