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Policeman giving a breathalyzer to a driver

DUI? Know Your Rights

The Law Offices of Thomas W. Martin, LLC Oct. 10, 2022

In the state of Colorado, it is illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. On reasonable suspicion of impaired or drunk driving, a police officer may ask you to pull over. The officer may ask you various questions or request that you conduct a DUI test.  

Unfortunately, many individuals do not know their rights and obligations when stopped by a law enforcement officer for DUI. As a result, several alleged drunk drivers usually end up in the worst-case scenario. A skilled Colorado criminal defense attorney can educate you about your rights when pulled over for a DUI and help strategize your defense.  

At The Law Offices of Thomas W. Martin, LLC, I enjoy giving comprehensive legal guidance and strong representation to clients facing drunk driving charges. As your legal team, I can review and investigate the facts of your case, educate you about your rights with DUI tests, and help build your best defenses in pursuit of the most favorable outcome. My firm proudly represents clients in Loveland, Wellington, Estes Park, Johnstown, Windsor, Greeley, Fort Collins, Colorado, and throughout Weld and Larimer Counties. 

What You Should Know About Your Rights 

Several drivers across Colorado are unaware of their rights when pulled over by law enforcement officers. Even when your car is pulled over by the police – on reasonable suspicion of drunk driving – you still have legal rights. Here are some of your legal rights when you are stopped by the police for a DUI: 

You Have the Right to Not Incriminate Yourself 

When stopped by a police officer, try not to incriminate yourself. You should adhere to the standard pull-over procedures. You should interact with them politely, respectfully, and courteously. Based on the officer's request, provide them with your documentation – including your driver's license, insurance information, and vehicle registration. However, do not offer additional information. You can inform the officer that you've been advised not to answer any questions without your attorney. 

You Have a Right to Obtain a Copy of the
Police Report   

Additionally, the police report is a piece of crucial evidence in your drunk driving case. Results of the chemical tests and sobriety tests will be available in the report. You are within your rights to request a copy of the police report. Your attorney will review the report and determine your best defenses. 

You Have a Right to Be Free of Unlawful Search
and Seizure 

However, for a law enforcement officer to search your car or seize any item, there must be probable cause. For example, the officer saw you hiding an item in your vehicle or suspected alcohol. Conducting a search and seizure without any probable cause is unlawful. Any item found during such unlawful search and seizure will not be admissible during trial. 

You Have a Right to Refuse to Take Field
Sobriety Tests  

Field sobriety tests are a group of three tests – the walk-and-turn, the horizontal gaze, and the one-leg stand tests - used by the police to determine if a driver is impaired. In Colorado, field sobriety tests are voluntary. You are within your rights to refuse a field sobriety test, and there are no punishments for refusal. 

However, taking chemical tests – blood, breath, or urine test – at the station is mandatory. Refusing to submit to chemical testing is a violation of the state's express consent law. This may result in license suspension and other administrative penalties. 

You Have the Right to Refuse the Preliminary or Portable Breath Test  

Furthermore, you are within your rights to refuse the preliminary alcohol screening or portable breath test at the roadside. There are no consequences. However, do not confuse this with the breath test done at the station. If you are stopped on reasonable suspicion, lawfully arrested, and taken to the station, you are under obligation to take the chemical tests. Refusal of chemical testing – at the station – may result in various administrative penalties and consequences. 

You Have a Right to Contact an Attorney 

Additionally, if the police officer arrests you for drunk driving and takes you to the local precinct for the custodial interview, you are within your rights to request and hire a lawyer. Before answering any of the officer's questions, you should consult with your attorney first. A well-informed Colorado DUI defense lawyer can speak with you about the nature of your DUI charges, help strategize your best defenses, and dispute the allegations against you with factual evidence.   

Trusted Guidance Every Step of the Way 

Facing drunk driving allegations can be a frightening experience. However, knowing your rights and getting experienced guidance can help make your case feel more manageable and ensure you do not suffer the maximum penalties. For more than ten years, I have been providing exceptional legal services and defending clients wrongfully accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.  

As your legal counsel, I can investigate every aspect of your case and craft an effective defense strategy to help fight your charges. Also, I will help you navigate the Colorado criminal justice system and represent you aggressively in every phase of the legal proceedings. Above all, I will battle to keep your legal rights, defend your driving privileges, and improve your chances of a brighter tomorrow.  

Contact my firm – The Law Offices of Thomas W. Martin, LLC – today to arrange a simple case assessment with a dependable DUI defense attorney. My firm is proud to represent clients across Fort Collins, Colorado, and throughout Larimer and Weld Counties, including Loveland, Greeley, Wellington, Estes Park, Windsor, and Johnstown.