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Denver DUI Breath and Blood Test

Being charged with driving under the influence is always a very serious charge. Anytime you’re pulled over and arrested for a suspected DUI, you can be confident that the police officer is going to request a blood test or a breathalyzer test, depending on whether they think you’re under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both.

A conviction for a DUI carries significant consequences on its own, but many people don’t realize that refusing to take the breath or blood test can carry its own additional consequences. If you need assistance or information related to a DUI, Churchill Criminal Defense is here to help you understand breath and blood tests in Denver. Contact our Denver DUI attorney today at (303) 832-9000 or use our easy online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

What is a Preliminary Breath Test?

When you’re pulled over and the officer suspects you’re driving under the influence, they may ask you to take a preliminary breath test (PBT). This is a handheld breathalyzer device that will help the officer determine if they’re going to place you under arrest for driving under the influence. You are not required to take the preliminary breath test, and you won’t lose your license for refusing to do so. However, if you are placed under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence, you will be asked to take a breath or a blood test so the officer can determine if you had drugs or alcohol in your system.

Refusing A Chemical test

If you refuse a chemical test – a breath or a blood test – you can be penalized in the following ways:

  • Automatic driver’s license suspension for one year
  • You will be designated a persistent drunk driver
  • You will be required to take alcohol classes before you can reinstate your driving privileges
  • For one year, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle
  • You will have to purchase an additional insurance policy, called an SR-22, even if you aren’t convicted of the DUI
  • The fact that you refused to take the test will likely be used against you at trial

Choosing Breath Test or Blood Test

In many circumstances, the police officer must give you the choice between a breath or a blood test. In the following circumstances, you will not have a choice and the officer will decide which test to perform:

  • There is probable cause to believe that you have drugs in your system that contributed to your DUI
  • You’re under the age of 21 and the charge is an underage DUI
  • You are unconscious
  • Circumstances prevent the choice. For example, an equipment malfunction would prevent the chemical test from being administered within the required two-hour window.

It can be complicated to decide which test to choose. It is important that you agree to take the test, otherwise you face automatic consequences that will make your life much more difficult than it needs to be. Many people believe that if they refuse the chemical test, there won’t be evidence against them showing that they were driving under the influence. This generally isn’t true. There will be officer observations and the fact that you refused the test will almost certainly be admitted into evidence if the case goes to trial.

A Denver DUI Lawyer Can Assist You

If you refused a breath or a blood test, it’s smart to contact an attorney right away to see if they can help you schedule a DMV hearing to contest the license suspension. Churchill Criminal Defense has been handling DUI cases for more than 22 years and is always here to assist. When you hire Kevin Churchill of Churchill Criminal Defense, you’re hiring an attorney genuinely cares about the outcome of your case. Find out more about Denver breath and blood tests today at (303) 832-9000 or use our easy online contact form to schedule a free consultation.