When a driver is arrested for DUI, police should give the driver an express consent advisement. This advisement tells the driver that, by virtue of driving in Colorado, the driver has given his consent to take s blood or breath test to determine his or her BAC when police have probable cause to support the DUI arrest. If a person refuses a test or if a person takes a breath test and the breath test is over 0.080, then the police officer will issue a notice of revocation right away. This notice informs the driver of his or her right to request a hearing. The hearing must be requested within a certain number of days otherwise the right to the hearing is lost. If the person takes a blood test and the blood test is too high, then he or she will get a notice in the mail from DMV regarding any revocation.
The driver must go to DMV to request the hearing. DMV will not set the hearing date at that time. The driver will receive a notice in the mail about the date and time of the hearing, so it is important that the driver’s address is up to date.
Some hearings are held in person while others are held over the phone. Whether the hearing is in person or over the phone is based on the law enforcement agency involved, so it is not a reflection of the facts of the case. For example, cases investigated by Denver police are held in person, while cases investigated by Aurora police are held over the phone.
There are two ways to win the DMV hearing. First, if there is a legal issue that makes the revocation improper, then the revocation will be dismissed. For example, if the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to contact and/or did not have probable cause to request the blood or breath test and/or something was not done correctly when the test was completed, then revocation will be dismissed. Second, if the officer is requested to be present for the hearing, but does not show up, then the revocation will be dismissed.
It is important to note that even if a driver wins at the DMV hearing, it is still possible for DMV to get s second opportunity to revoke the license depending on whether and what type of a conviction enters as a result of the case.