Blood-Alcohol Content (BAC): Measure of the alcohol content in your blood. Chemical evidence of blood-alcohol content is used by the prosecution to show that a driver was “under the influence.” In addition, Colorado law makes it illegal to simply drive with a blood-alcohol level in excess of .08 percent. If the results of your breath or blood test were 0.08 or higher (0.02 if you are under 21 years of age) your license is subject to a three month revocation. The blood-alcohol reading is also used as an important gauge in plea bargaining and sentencing in alcohol-driving cases.
Cancellation: An action to void a valid Driver License
Denial: A restraint action taken when an individual does not have a Colorado Driver License.
DUI Per Se: Most Coloradans in drunk driving cases are charged with two offenses: (1) driving under the influence and (2) driving with a blood-alcohol level in excess of 0.08. The second offense is a violation of the per se statute, which makes it illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol content over 0.08, regardless of whether your driving was impaired.
Field Sobriety Test (FST): A series of roadside tests given by the police officer which allow the cop to determine if you are impaired by alcohol. The tests include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the Walk & Turn, and One-Leg Stand. You may refuse to take roadside tests without any legal penalty. We challenge the scientific reliability of these tests in motions to the court.
Ignition Interlock: A device that prevents a driver from starting a vehicle without first breathing into a primitive breath analyzing device and getting a negative reading. In Colorado, repeat alcohol offenders are required to have the Ignition Interlock when they reinstate driving privileges. CRS § 42-2-132.5. Reinstated licenses are restricted to the use of vehicles equipped with an Ignition Interlock device for at least the period of one year. Drivers with two alcohol driving offenses in five yours, three in a lifetime, or with Habitual Traffic Offender status and at least one alcohol driving offense after 7/1/00 will be allowed to reinstate only with a restricted license that limits their driving to vehicles with an Ignition Interlock device. The interlock driver bears all costs of the Ignition Interlock device.
Level II Education & Therapy: A condition of probation for alcohol-related offenses. Completion of Level II is a mandatory condition for reinstatement of your license if it is revoked for having a BAC over 0.20. You should start classes right away to show DMV you are enrolled at your hearing.
Preliminary Breath Test (PBT): Instruments used by police officers in the field to obtain initial indications of blood-alcohol levels. This screening is used to detect the presence of alcohol in the driver, or to roughly determine a pass or fail level. If the PBT instrument shows that alcohol is present, or if it reflect a possibly high blood-alcohol level, the cop can use this information in deciding whether to arrest. Results are not admissible at trial, but can be used to support probable cause. A driver may refuse to take a preliminary breath test without any license consequences, unless the driver is under age 21. See CRS § 42-4-1301(6)(i).
Refusal Warning: If you refused (or are alleged to have refused) to take a blood, breath or urine test after being requested to do so when being processed for any drunk driving related charges in Colorado, your driver’s license is subject to a one year revocation. You have only seven (7) days to request an administrative DMV hearing or else or license is automatically revoked.
Revocation: A restraint action that invalidates the Driver License and revokes the driving privilege.
Roadside Tests: See “Field Sobriety Test.”
Suppression: When law enforcement violates your civil rights, one remedy is to have illegally-obtained evidence suppressed, which means that the court orders that the evidence cannot be used against you at trial. Your attorney will file a Motion to Suppress evidence, such as test results, if law enforcement lacked the proper legal justification to stop, search, or seize you or obtained evidence in violation of your rights.
Suspension: A restraint action that temporarily invalidates the Driver License and withdraws the driving privilege.