People often ask us what they should do if they get pulled over for a DUI. This question is usually related to whether they should agree to take roadside maneuvers or a blood or breath test. It is difficult to answer those questions without knowing more about an individual’s particular circumstances and, even then, there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer because every decision has consequences, so it is often a personal choice as to which consequences are “better.”
For example, if a person is sober, refusing testing will not be helpful because the testing theoretically offers people the ability to show sobriety. If, on the other hand, a person thinks she is sober, but isn’t, taking tests may provide incriminating evidence to the police. Another example relates to DMV consequences. If a person refuses a blood or breath test, the period of revocation and subsequent interlock requirement are longer than if that same person agrees to a chemical test, even if the test is over the legal limit. On the other hand, by taking the test, if the person’s BAC is high, the consequences in court may be greater than if there was no test result. In Colorado, if a person’s BAC is .200 or more, even on a first offense, there is mandatory jail time. There is no mandatory jail time on a first time DUI with a refusal. And these are just a few examples of various circumstances and consequences.
There are, however, some general pointers about what to do if pulled over for a DUI. These pieces of advice have little to do with the law and have more to do with minimizing the damage. This article from the Huffington Post provides some good general information.