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Colorado Supreme Court rules on expressed consent law

The Colorado Supreme Court recently heard appeals in three cases that all dealt with the state's expressed consent law. The lower courts had thrown out the warrantless blood draw evidence.

The three cases all dealt with a different part of the expressed consent law. That law says that when someone drives in the state, he or she consent to a breath or blood test to determine their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as long as there is probable cause to believe that an "alcohol-related driving offense" occurred.

In the first case, the court ruled that the Constitution's Fourth Amendment does not keep prosecutors from presenting evidence that a defendant refused to take a blood alcohol test.

In the second case, the court held that an unconscious driver can have his or her blood taken to be tested when an officer has probable cause to believe that the driver committed an "alcohol-related driving offense."

In the third case, the court held that reading the expressed consent advisement to the driver does not make the test involuntary. The defendant's attorneys had tried to argue in an Arapahoe County District Court that their client was too intoxicated to give his consent to a test.

The judge ruled that the defendant was coerced into giving his consent to the test by the police officer and suppressed the results. However, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that since the defendant was driving in the state, then he consented to the expressed consent statute.

If you have been charged with a DUI, it's important to begin building your defense as soon as possible. Your attorney will want time to review all of the evidence in your case and determine which defense strategy can help your case the most.

Source: The Denver Post, "Colorado Supreme Court upholds state’s DUI laws," Kirk Mitchell, April 17, 2017

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