Being arrested for DUI in Colorado is extremely stressful. After the initial shock wears off, it is natural to feel overwhelmed with worry and uncertainty about how you should proceed. The most important thing to do is to try to remain calm and compliant with the officer who pulls you over. Below are five simple steps to take if you are arrested for DUI in Colorado and the key to improving your chances of a positive outcome.
Exactly What to Do After Being Arrested for DUI in Colorado
Step One: Comply with the Arresting Officers
Your chances of achieving a desirable outcome with your case will significantly improve if you comply with the arresting officers. Your path to compliance begins by finding a safe place to pull over as soon as a police officer signals for you to pull off the road. If you are careless or pull over in an unsafe location or manner, these actions could have a negative impact on your DUI case.
After safely pulling over, try to listen carefully to the arresting officer and do your best to follow any instructions provided. Be polite and treat the officer with respect. You should also avoid making any sudden movements or trying to leave the car before the officer asks you to exit your vehicle.
Step Two: Refusing to Take a Blood or Breath Test has Harsh Consequences
Refusing to take a test can be damaging to your DUI case. While you might be tempted to refuse the test, it is important for you to resist your urges and take the test exactly as directed by law enforcement officials. Here are four of the key benefits to taking a test:
- Benefit #1: Refusing a Test is one of the few times a District Attorney can use your silence against you in trial.
- Benefit #2: You may help avoid suspicion among law enforcement officials.
- Benefit #3: You may avoid some harsh consequences, such as placement of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle or a year-long suspension of your driver’s license.
- Benefit #4: You might benefit from a police officer’s incorrect usage of a Breathalyzer.
- Benefit #5: If you take a blood test an analyst must be present to use those results in trial.
Step Three: Do Not Incriminate Yourself
There is a fine line between politely responding to requests from an arresting officer and saying too much. Generally speaking, a good rule of thumb is to be cordial but to say as little as possible in order to remain compliant. You should also remember that any information you share may be used against you in court. Here are a few other tips to keep in mind as you interact with law enforcement officials:
- Do not acknowledge using alcohol or drugs. It is okay to say, “I prefer not to talk about this right now.”
- Remember that how you speak is also important. The police officer might be taking notes on your speech and communication abilities.
- Provide your license and registration without hesitating. Remember that you can do this quietly without talking.
Step Four: Contact a DUI Attorney
Contacting an experienced DUI attorney is the single best step you can take to help your DUI case. A DUI lawyer will carefully review every element of your case and look for police errors or inconsistencies that can help your outcome in court. Here are a few specific ways that an attorney will guide you if you are arrested for DUI:
- Represent you and communicate with law enforcement officials on your behalf
- Provide guidance and support as you prepare for court
- Give professional advice if you are offered a plea deal
- Help you retain your license by challenging your license suspension
Step Five: Request a DMV Hearing Within 7 Days
The most important thing to remember with Step Five is to act immediately. Do not procrastinate! You only have a week to request your DMV hearing or you could jeopardize the result of your case. If you fail to take action within 7 calendar days, your license could be automatically suspended for a year.
If you successfully request your hearing within the required time frame, you can expect to be notified afterward by the DMV. They will let you know the date and time of your hearing once it has been scheduled. You will be able to drive up until the time your hearing is held, though your privilege to drive could be revoked depending on the result of your hearing. With the guidance of a DUI lawyer, your odds of a successful outcome will increase.
Arrested for DUI? Now What?
No one expects to be pulled over and arrested for DUI. But taking the right steps if you are pulled over can end up having a desirable effect on the outcome of your case. By following the five simple steps above, you can help avoid jail time, job loss, and a tarnished record. Remember that every second is important when you only have 7 days to request a DMV hearing. By hiring an experienced DUI lawyer right away, you are taking the single best step possible to achieve a positive result in court.