Licensed to Practice in Colorado and the United States District Court for the District of Colorado

What may happen when an officer stops a car and suspects alcohol?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2022 | Drunk Driving

Colorado highway patrol officers may pull drivers over for violating traffic laws. As noted by The Vail Daily, observable offenses such as speeding may result in an officer stopping your car to issue a traffic ticket.

In some cases, an officer may suspect you of impaired driving. An arrest, however, may not happen immediately. An officer must first have reason to believe alcohol or drugs contributed to the traffic law violation.

When may motorists undergo field sobriety tests?

Officials may search for signs of impairment such as slurring your speech or responding slowly. Strong odors of alcohol or marijuana coming from your car may also raise suspicions of impairment.

To determine whether alcohol or drugs caused the observable traffic violation or erratic driving, an officer may ask you to perform a one-leg stand. He or she could also examine how your eyes respond to a horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

What could happen if I refuse to provide a breath or blood test?

By applying for a Colorado driver’s license, motorists consent to submit to a breath or blood test when an officer requests it. You could lose your driving privileges for one year if you refuse to submit to a breath or blood test.

Roadside breath tests generally provide readings that show whether an individual’s blood alcohol content level exceeds the legal limit of 0.08%. Blood tests may reveal whether a motorist used drugs.

Before arresting and charging individuals with driving under the influence, officers typically conduct field sobriety tests. You may, however, contest a DUI charge and ask the court to reinstate your driver’s license. Before granting your request, a judge may require you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.