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DUI Defense and Colorado Express Consent

Facing a DUI Charge is a Process that requires an experience DUI Lawyer

A drunk driving charge will result in two cases. The first is the criminal DUI part. The second case involves the DMV and a driver's license.

The driving under the influence case will cause the Department of Motor Vehicles to initiate an action to revoke the defendant's driving privileges. This action is taken pursuant to the Colorado Express Consent Statute.

Our Aurora DUI Attorney handles DMV cases as part of his representation in every DUI defense case.

What Is the Colorado Express Consent Law?

Driver's consent to certain things by driving in Colorado. They consent to providing a chemical test to a police officer to determine the alcohol content of your blood or breath. See C.R.S. § 42-4-1301.1. An officer having probable cause to believe you are committing an alcohol related driving offense will request a chemical test.

Probable cause comes from a variety of sources. The first is the reason the officer initiates contact. This is observations of driving or the defendant. The stop leads the officer to the second basis for probable cause.

Officers look for indicia of alcohol consumption. Blood shot and watery eyes and the smell of alcohol are common signs of impairment. An arresting officer will also ask questions about alcohol consumption.

Officers having probable cause request defendants to submit to a chemical test. Defendants do not have to choose a test and can refusal. If you refuse to take the test, the impact on your ability to drive could be worse.

A person refuses if the evidence supports a general unwillingness to perform the test.

After completing a blood or breath test, a defendant will be given a DUI express consent affidavit and notice of revocation. The notice advises a defendant that they have 7-days to request a hearing of the revocation of their driving privileges. You can request an express consent hearing within 7-days of the notice.

How Does a DUI Impact your Driver's License?

If the test comes back with a blood alcohol greater than .08, Colorado law requires the revocation of driving privileges. The revocation period for a first offense is 9 months.

The revocation period for subsequent alcohol related offenses are as follows:

Type of Offense

Length of Revocation

2nd BAC over .08

12-month revocation

3rd BAC over .08

24-month revocation

1st Refusal

12-month revocation

2nd Refusal

24-month revocation

3rd Refusal

36-month revocation

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What Is an Express Consent Hearing?

Police will issue a ticket after a DUI. They will also provide a defendant with an “Express Consent Affidavit” upon arresting you for driving under the influence. A blood test causes delay in the process. A defendant receives this document after the upon obtaining the results.

The affidavit will advise you that you have seven days to request a hearing to challenge the revocation. It is best for individuals to request a hearing. If no hearing request is made, the license revocation is effective after seven days.

If an express consent hearing is requested, a defendant will be granted a temporary license to drive until the hearing occurs. Pursuant to statute, the hearing must be within 60 days of your request.

The hearing is only focused on your ability to drive a motor vehicle. Colorado considers driving a privilege. This means the hearing is vastly different from a criminal trial.

A defendant is not entitled to a jury, and the hearing is conducted in front of a DMV hearings officer. You will not be allowed a jury, instead the hearing officer will decide.

The standard of proof used at the hearing is a preponderance of the evidence standard. This standard is considerably lower than the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard. The evidentiary standards are also lowered.

Hearsay is admissible if the hearing officer determines the statements are reliable. Police officer testimony is generally held to be reliable.

To sustain the revocation, the hearing officer needs to find certain things. Law enforcement needs a reason to make contact. They need probable cause the believe the driver was under the influence.

An express consent advisement must be given. The chemical test must be completed within two hours of driving, and the BAC must be above a .08.

A defendant must remember the express consent hearing and the criminal case are not related. The outcome of the criminal case has no impact on the express consent hearing, and the outcome of the express consent hearing has no impact on the criminal case.

The only exception to this rule is the outcome of the criminal case might have an additional impact on your ability to drive. A DUI conviction will cause 12 points to enter on your license, so you could hypothetically win the express consent hearing but lose your license because of a DUI conviction.

How to Obtain a License through Early Reinstatement?

Individuals who have their license revoked will be eligible for early reinstatement of their license. Typically, a person will have to go 30 days without driving before being eligible. A person may apply for early reinstatement with an interlock device installed in their car and SR-22 insurance for their vehicle.

A BAC of .15 or greater imposes additional condition. The person needs to enroll in a level 2 alcohol classes. The classes are not required to be completed when applying for early reinstatement.

A refusal carries a 60-day waiting period, but the conditions are the same.

It is important to speak with a DUI Attorney to understand the reinstatement process.

Speak with a DUI Defense Attorney when dealing with the DMV after a DUI.

DUI law and the DMV process is complicated. Driving privileges are also a necessity for most people. The loss of driving privileges can be worse than jail time for some clients.

Each driving under the influence case is different. Each case and each defendant require a DUI attorney to tailor a defense to their case and goals.

If you are charged with a DUI offense or DWAI involving a DMV Hearing in Aurora or the Denver Metro Area, request a consultation with our criminal defense lawyer today. We are open during regular business hours, and we will stay late and be available on the weekends by appointment.

Schedule a free consultation with a DUI Attorney from the Lawrence Law Firm. We are ready, willing, and able to represent you. Our firm charges flat fees, but we also provide flexible payments plans. Your financial situation should not compromise your legal defenses.