- Practice Areas
People v. Myers stands for the proposition that a person charged with vehicular homicide vehicular assault is required to provide a sample of their blood for chemical testing.
What happened in the case of People v. Myers:
The defendant was travelling down the road and drove his truck into oncoming traffic. He struck another vehicle and killed one of its passengers.
When police responded to the accident, they asked the defendant for a sample of his blood. He refused. The police drew the defendant’s blood anyway and found that his blood alcohol level was .237. The defendant went to trial and a jury convicted him of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.
On appeal, the defendant argued that the police should have permitted him to refuse to provide a sample of his blood, instead of forcing him to give one. He argued that a person charged with DUI has a right to refuse to provide a sample of his blood, so a person charged with vehicular assault or vehicular homicide should also be permitted to refuse to provide one. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled against the defendant and upheld his conviction.
Can I refuse to provide a blood test if I am charged with vehicular assault?
No. The Court in People v. Myers ruled that a person charged with vehicular assault has no right to refuse to provide a sample of his blood for testing. When issuing its decision, the Colorado Supreme Court looked to the Colorado legislature for guidance.
The Colorado Supreme Court reasoned that the legislature intended to give more rights to someone charged with the less serious crime of driving under the influence than someone charged with a more serious crime. The Court held that society has a legitimate interest in discouraging acts which have greater negative social consequences than others. Therefore, the Court ruled, the legislature has the power to limit how and when a person charged with a crime may refuse to provide a sample of their blood for testing.