After being stopped for suspicion of DUI, professional basketball player Lamar Odom refused to submit to a chemical test of his blood to determine whether there were drugs or alcohol or both in his system. As a result, Odom’s driver’s license has been suspended for one year. Officers indicated that they gave Odom ample opportunity to recant his refusal and take the test.
Like California law, Colorado law imposes a consequence for people who refuse to take a chemical test of their blood or breath to determine whether there is alcohol or drugs in their system. Colorado’s version of this law is called the Express Consent Law. By virtue of driving in the State of Colorado, you are consenting to a chemical test of your blood or breath if a police officer has probable cause to believe you are driving under the influence.
Currently, Colorado law is very similar to California law because refusing a chemical test will result in revocation your driving privilege for one full year. Colorado does not permit people who have their privilege revoked for a refusal to apply for a probationary license, sometimes called a red license, nor can they receive a restricted license with an interlock device. People who refuse a chemical test simply lose their privilege to drive for a full year. This is a very harsh consequence. In contrast, people who agree to take a chemical test, regardless of their blood alcohol level, may receive a restricted interlock license after serving 30 days of their revocation on a first time offense.
In January 2014, the laws related to the length of a refusal revocation will change. People who refuse a chemical test may apply for an interlock restricted license after serving 60 days of their revocation, but then must have the interlock device installed for a period of two years. In addition, people who suffered a refusal revocation prior to January 1, 2014 will receive some relief come the beginning of the year as well. If you had your driving privilege revoked for a refusal prior to January 1, 2014, so long as you have served at least 60 days of the revocation, come the beginning of the year, you will also be eligible to apply for an interlock restricted license. Depending on your particular situation, such as when your revocation began and whether you have another revocation or suspension that will run consecutive to your refusal revocation, it may be worthwhile to apply for an interlock restricted license.
If you had your license revoked for a refusal and are uncertain as to whether it would be best to apply for an interlock restricted license in January, please contact us so we can discuss your options.