If You’re Not Driving
If you are a passenger in a car and your friend or spouse gets pulled over, you are not required to hand over any identification if you are not driving the car. An officer may inquire about your identification but they cannot order you unless they have reasonable suspicion that you have been involved in an illegal activity.
During a traffic stop, a Colorado police officer cannot ask you about your immigration status. However, an immigration officer can inquire about your immigration status, but you do have the right to remain silent by invoking the 5th amendment and consulting an attorney.
You can refuse to participate in a roadside sobriety test, especially since these types of tests are easy to fail, even for sober drivers. However, while you do have the right to refuse a breath, blood or urine test, refusal will result in automatic license suspension for one year. Therefore, it is commonly recommended that you do comply with a chemical test unless you are placed in a coercive, interrogative, and dangerous situation. Attorneys usually recommend taking the blood test, as they can be retested (unlike breath tests) which gives an attorney more room to contest the original findings and get a better outcome.
What can you do?
To determine if an officer has probable cause, you may ask, “Excuse me officer, am I being detained or am I free to go?”. If they do not have cause, then you do have the right to leave.
A police officer can:
- Ask you for your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.
- Ask you to step out of the car.
A police officer cannot:
- Search your car without a warrant, reasonable suspicion, or your permission
- Coerce you into answering any questions.
- Force you to take any chemical or roadside sobriety tests.
- Inquire about your immigration status.
Always be polite and courteous with the officer – being rude or uncompliant with reasonable requests will only make the situation worse. Refrain from chatting or relinquishing any further information, as this later may be used to incriminate you. In the event you are served with a notice of revocation following being charged with Driving Under The Influence, you only have seven days to request a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For more information or to get a free consultation, call our criminal defense and representation attorneys at R&H.