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Understanding how DUI traffic stops work

Posted on April 13, 2018

Drunk driving charges can bring a host of significant penalties that can have a severely negative impact on your life. You know that it is important to fight the charges against you, but you may not know where to start. It is always beneficial to understand how DUI traffic stops work in Colorado in order to determine if you experienced a violation of your personal rights.

Many people do not truly understand how DUI traffic stops work or how law enforcement determines if a person is intoxicated behind the wheel. Familiarizing yourself with it can help you protect your rights and interests, as well as understand how to defend yourself against any type of drunk driving charge in Colorado.

The basics of the traffic stop

A person’s level of intoxication is determined by his or her blood alcohol content. It is illegal to drive a vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or higher. Law enforcement officers take several steps to determine potential intoxication and the level of the driver’s BAC. In most cases, the following actions will happen during a traffic stop:

  • Acting on reasonable suspicion: Law enforcement must have a valid reason for conducting a DUI traffic stop. There must be clear signs of possible intoxication, such as swerving or driving erratically.
  • Performing field sobriety tests: After pulling a driver over, law enforcement can ask a driver to submit to certain types of sobriety tests if he or she suspects possible intoxication.
  • Administering a chemical test: If a driver does not pass the field sobriety test, law enforcement may then administer a chemical test of the blood, breath or urine in order to determine BAC levels.

When there are problems with the administration of a test or a driver experienced a violation of his or her rights during the traffic stop, it may be possible to challenge the entire case against you. 

The right defense for you

Every DUI case is different, and you have the right to custom-tailor yours to suit your individual needs and objectives. You can start your defense by seeking a complete evaluation of your case and working to understand your defense options.

When there are issues with a DUI traffic stop, a driver has the right to take immediate action to protect his or her future interests. A reduction of the charges or a complete dismissal of the case may be possible.

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