If you are pulled over under suspicion of a DUI/DWAI in Colorado, you may be asked to submit to chemical testing. As an express consent state, drivers consent to such testing when receiving their licenses. While you are permitted to refuse testing, there are a number of consequences that may occur due to express consent laws.

Penalties for DUI/DWAI

Your age, blood alcohol content (BAC), and the number of offenses all play a role in sentencing. If you submit to testing, are over the age of 21, and have a BAC of  0.08% or higher, you will be subject to one of the following three penalties:

  • First offense – Your license will be suspended for a period of nine months. You may be able to apply for early reinstatement after one month of suspension. Probationary licenses are not available.
  • Second offense – Your license will be suspended for one year. You will not be privy to a probationary license, but you can apply for early reinstatement after one month.
  • Third offense – No probationary license is available and you cannot apply for early reinstatement after one month. The third offense means your license will be suspended for two years.

Those under 21 are subject to stricter penalties. When BAC is between 0.02% and 0.079% and the person is under 21, there is no early reinstatement available. If it is a first offense, a three-month suspension is mandatory and the driver may be able to apply for a probationary license after one month if their BAC was below 0.05%. Second offenses bring about a two-year suspension, while third offenses incur a three-year suspension.

Penalties for refusal of chemical testing

Penalties increase when testing is refused due to express consent laws. No driver is entitled to a probationary license, no matter the offense. Additionally, all offenders can apply for early reinstatement after two months. First offenses are subject to license suspension for one year. With a second offense, the suspension period lasts for two years, while a third offense receives a three-year suspension. All those who refuse testing are required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for two years after their licenses are reinstated.