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CRS 42-4-1303

Colorado Records – Prima Facie Proof

Colorado statute CRS 42-4-1303—known as Colorado records – prima facie proof—declares that any documentation issued by the department of public health and environment regarding the certification of various things relating breathalyzer machines is considered self-authenticating evidence—or “prima facie proof”—when offered to the court.

Let’s face it. Life happens.

No one wants to get in trouble, but when it happens, what do you do?

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, the best decision you can make is to
hire a good criminal defense attorney. With the right defense lawyer in your corner, you
will be advised and guided towards the best outcome for your case.

Requirements for Colorado Records Prima Facie Proof

Colorado evidentiary breath test records are considered prima facie proof and admissible in court if they are correctly certified.

Requirements for certification include:

  • The executive director of the department of public health and environment or the director’s deputy has custody of the records.
  • Records submitted to the court are accompanied by a certificate from the department of public health and environment.
  • The certificate document bears the official seal of the department of public health and environment.

Difference Between Preliminary and Evidentiary Breath Tests in Colorado

Those at risk of being charged with a DUI in Colorado should understand the difference between a preliminary breath test (PBT) and an evidentiary breathalyzer test. When police suspect a motorist of driving under the influence, a preliminary breath test can be performed during the traffic stop. A PBT utilizes a small, hand-held device.  Motorists are not required to submit to this breath test or any field sobriety test before being arrested for a DUI. The results of a PBT are not admissible as evidence at trial, but can be used as a basis for the officer to arrest you for DUI. An evidentiary breathalyzer test is performed post-arrest and requires the use of much larger, more accurate machines. Those arrested for DUI charges are required by law to take either this breath test or a blood test—or face severe consequences like automatic driver’s license suspension and possible DUI conviction (which could mean jail time).

Colorado Revised Statutes, CRS 42-4-1303:

Section 42-4-1303 – Records – prima facie proof

Official records of the department of public health and environment relating to certification of breath test instruments, certification of operators and operator instructors of breath test instruments, certification of standard solutions, and certification of laboratories shall be official records of the state, and copies thereof, attested by the executive director of the department of public health and environment or the director’s deputy and accompanied by a certificate bearing the official seal for said department that the executive director or the director’s deputy has custody of said records, shall be admissible in all courts of record and shall constitute prima facie proof of the information contained therein. The department seal required under this section may also consist of a rubber stamp producing a facsimile of the seal stamped upon the document.

C.R.S. § 42-4-1303

  1. 94: Entire section amended, p. 2816, § 595, effective July 1; entire title amended with relocations, p. 2390, § 1, effective January 1, 1995.

Have You Been Charged or Arrested for a DUI in Colorado Springs or El Paso County?

If you’re facing a DUI charge in Colorado Springs or El Paso County, it’s important to understand that you have rights. A DUI conviction could jeopardize your freedom and your future, after all. For the prosecutor to convict you of this offense, they’ll need to prove that you were driving the vehicle, law enforcement had probable cause to perform a traffic stop, and the chemical tests performed were done so accurately. To defend yourself against a DUI charge, you must understand how the law applies and what the District Attorney in El Paso County must prove in your case. You’ll need the legal expertise of a Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer to ensure your rights are observed and you get the best possible outcome for your DUI case.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get a DUI dismissed in Colorado?

The prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are guilty of driving under the influence. To get a DUI case dismissed, doubt must be cast on the prosecutor’s case.

Some of the most successful methods for getting your DUI dismissed include:

  • Challenging the legality of the traffic stop
  • Challenging law enforcement’s probable cause for the breath or blood test
  • Challenging the accuracy of the breath or blood test

What is "express consent" in Colorado?

Colorado law states that when you operate a vehicle in this state,  you have already given your express consent to submit to a chemical test of your breath or blood if an officer has probable cause to believe you are under the influence.  While you do have the right to refuse to submit to this test, the Express Consent Law says that a refusal will result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license, and you will have to go through the DMV administrative process in addition to fighting your DUI case in court.