Larry D. Combs - Steamboat Springs Criminal Defense Attorney

Larry D. Combs


Should you take a breath or a blood test?

How to choose the test to take

Few people know the Colorado Express Consent law which requires any person, resident or not, who drives anywhere in the state shall have given their express consent to complete a test of breath or blood to determine the blood alcohol level. The officer must have probable cause to believe you are driving under the influence and you get to choose breath or blood for an alcohol test but not for a drug test.

How to choose? If you don't like a needle in your arm, you choose the breath test (note, this is not the roadside breath test, see my DUI FAQ about roadside tests). The Intoxilyzer is located in the jail where maintenance records are kept. After 20 minutes of observation, you blow twice and the lower number is used. There are several technical requirements that must be satisfied, but the results are known immediately. The issues are: was the Intoxilyzer properly maintained, functioning properly and operated correctly?

If blood is drawn, one tube is sent to the State Lab and the second tube is available for private testing. Only certain people can draw blood. Other requirements are: the Collection Kit must be certified, the correct procedure must be followed and the "chain of custody" must be established. The test result is now taking weeks to know and lab people are not always available to testify. Also the second private test can defeat the lab test.

The issue is whether the test result is accurate and trustworthy. Evidence may be presented at trial to attack and discredit the test result. The test result is just one thing that must be considered and evaluated.

What's next? See my 8 steps to an arrest and prosecution for more information regarding your Colorado arrest.

Call me immediately (970-871-7400) to discuss your questions, needs and how I can help you in this trying time.

DUI Lawyer for Steamboat springs, Craig, Routt and Moffat Counties

"Over the last fourteen years, I have tried more jury trials than any practicing attorney in the 14th Judicial District (Routt County, Moffat County, and Grand County Colorado including Steamboat Springs, Craig, and Hot Sulphur Springs) with consistent success."

       -- Larry D. Combs



Attorney Larry Combs provides DUI and DWAI defense within the 14th judicial district which includes Routt County, Moffat County, and Grand County Colorado. This includes the municipalities of Steamboat Springs, Craig, Hot Sulphur Springs, Oak Creek, and Hayden.


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