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Lessening the odds of a DUI conviction


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Drunk driving can lead to license suspension, fines, higher insurance costs and even imprisonment. There are several things that you can do to lower the possibility of a DUI conviction in Colorado.

But first remember that drunk driving is dangerous and potentially deadly. The safest action is not drinking and driving or drinking in moderation while eating plenty of food and alternating drinking with non-alcoholic beverages. Even if you are slightly buzzed, you should get a ride home.

If police signal you with blinking lights or a siren, put on your directional signal and drive your vehicle onto the shoulder and well of the roadway. If possible, slowly drive to any close illuminated area.

Turn off your engine and stay in your vehicle. You may turn on your dome light. Roll down your window and keep your hands on the steering wheel so you do not appear threatening.

You must show your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Ask the police for permission if you must get these document from your glove compartment or purse.

Remain polite but silent. Do not engage in conversation or answer questions about how much you drank, where you were at, or your activities. Anything you say may be used to arrest or prosecute you.

Do not consent to physical in-car or field sobriety tests. In-car tests usually involve counting backwards, reciting the alphabet, or performing certain touching with your fingers while counting. Field tests including one-leg standing while counting, walking a straight line with heel to toe or following a light or object with your eye.

Police evaluation of these tests are very subjective. Also, many sober drivers fail these tests because of nervousness, fatigue, unclear directions, and bad coordination.

Colorado, however, and all other states have an implied consent law. Drivers must submit to a chemical blood, urine or breath test that is usually conducted at the police station. Licenses may be suspended for one year for test refusal. This increases to two years for a second offense and three years for a third offense.

Police may video you during this stop, so it is essential that you stay polite and remain silent. But you also have the right to videotape them.

An attorney can help protect your rights. They can challenge illegally seized evidence and test results that are flawed.

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