Colorado’s legislature will convene January 8, 2014. So perhaps it’s timely to propose a DUID legislative wish list for the year. We will discuss each of these in separate blog entries over the next weeks and months.
1 DUID statistical analysis.
Create new statistical tracking tools to properly document the number of DUI and DUID arrests. This would include the ability to distinguish different types of drug categories in DUID arrests. This initiative could be enabled by separating DUI from DUID charges in 42-4-1301.
2 Enable use of new technologies to reduce DUID and improve DUID enforcement.
The following changes would enable use of saliva testing as non-evidentiary tests to establish probable cause for a blood draw:
C.R.S. § 42-4-1301.1(6)(i)(I) Following the lawful contact with a person who has been driving a motor vehicle or vehicle and when a law enforcement officer reasonably suspects that a person was driving a motor vehicle or vehicle while under the influence of or while impaired by alcohol or drugs, the law enforcement officer may conduct a preliminary screening test using a device approved by the executive director of the department of public health and environment after first advising the driver that the driver may either refuse or agree to provide a sample of the driver’s breath for such preliminary test; except that, if the driver is under twenty-one years of age, the law enforcement officer may, after providing such advisement to the person, conduct such preliminary screen test if the officer reasonably suspects that the person has consumed any alcohol or drugs.
3 Enable the use of rapid electronic warrants necessitated by this year’s SCOTUS McNeeley ruling.
Because drugs metabolize at a rapid geometric rate, rather than alcohol’s relatively slow linear rate, collecting a blood sample from an impaired suspect rapidly is critical. Jurisdictions like Fort Collins have addressed this by incorporating rapid electronic warrants within 15 minutes. Other jurisdictions in the state are hesitant to adopt this practice, in part because of belief that the restraint provision of 42-4-1301.1 would make this unconstitutional. Although a clear reading of the law belies this position, the following proposed amendment would make it even more clear.
C.R.S § 42-4-1301.1 (3) Any person who is required to take and to complete, and to cooperate in the completing of, any test or tests shall cooperate with the person authorized to obtain specimens of such person’s blood, breath, saliva, or urine, including the signing of any release or consent forms required by any person, hospital, clinic, or association authorized to obtain such specimens. If such person does not cooperate with the person, hospital, clinic, or association authorized to obtain such specimens, including the signing of any release or consent forms, such noncooperation shall be considered a refusal to submit to testing. If such person refuses to submit to testing and the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the person is impaired, then the officer may secure a warrant to authorize obtaining the necessary specimens for testing. No law enforcement officer shall physically restrain any person for the purpose of obtaining a specimen of such person’s blood, breath, saliva, or urine for testing except when the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed criminally negligent homicide pursuant to section 18-3-105, C.R.S., vehicular homicide pursuant to section 18-3-106(1)(b), C.R.S., assault in the third degree pursuant to section 18-3-204, C.R.S., or vehicular assault pursuant to section 18-3-205(1)(b), C.R.S., and the person is refusing to take or to complete, or to cooperate in the completing of, any test or tests, then, in such event, the law enforcement officer may require a blood test.