Denver DUI FAQ (frequently asked questions)
What do I say when the officer asks me if I have been drinking?
It is best not to say anything at all, and simply hand your license, registration, and proof of insurance to the officer. The fact that you remained silent can't be used against you in court if your case goes to jury trial — no one can even mention it.
Should I agree to take a chemical test of my blood?
You will be asked to give a blood or breath sample to the officer. It is recommended that you agree to take the test, and choose the breath test over the blood test. A refusal of the blood alcohol test can lead to lengthy revocations of your driving privilege.
Should I agree to do the Roadside Maneuvers or Field Sobriety Tests?
No. Politely decline or nod your head indicating no. The field sobriety tests are not mandatory under Colorado DUI law, and there is no penalty for refusing them. Generally, the officer is going to "fail" you on these tests anyway, and doing them is unlikely to help your case.
Why am I charged with two DUI's for only one incident?
There are two different laws that make drunk driving a crime in Colorado. The prosecutor is allowed to use both against you at the same time. However, you can only be convicted of a single offense. For example, if a jury in a DUI case were to return a verdict of guilty to both DUI counts, only one conviction would be entered against you.
Can I insist upon speaking to a lawyer before taking the blood alcohol test?
No. You are not legally entitled to a DUI lawyer before you must choose whether to take the test. Further, anything that you do to make it impossible for the officer to administer the test, such as insisting on speaking to an attorney, will be considered a "refusal."
Why did the officer make me follow the tip of a pen with my eyes?
He or she was performing what is called the "horizontal gaze nystagmus test." The theory behind this test is that when a person has a high enough BAC, their eyes will vibrate slightly — and not follow the moving pen smoothly. However, there are many reasons that this phenomenon known as nystagmus occurs — reasons other than alcohol impairment. It can occur simply as a result of being tired, for example, and should not be considered conclusive evidence of drunk driving.
When I was arrested, the officer never read me my rights. Doesn't this mean that I will win my case?
Generally no, but maybe. A police officer is not allowed to ask you questions after you have been arrested, unless he reads you your rights. If the officer does not read you your rights, then you may be able to prevent your post-arrest statements from being used against you. However, most of the time drivers will make incriminating statements prior to being arrested — usually when they are first stopped by the officer. These statements are never protected by your Miranda rights, because you are not under arrest at that point. In cases where your post-arrest statements can be suppressed, this does not prevent the other evidence in your case from being used against you. Therefore, it is unlikely that the officer's failure to read you your rights will win your case outright.
Do I need a DUI lawyer?
Yes. DUI cases involve legal and scientific complexities that even many attorneys do not understand. The evidence against you may look solid and unbeatable - and yet be completely false due to police mistakes, BAC testing errors, and a rush to judgment. In the event the case against you cannot be defeated, we will effectively represent you in court and work to minimize the consequences that you will face.