Implied Consent

Assume you are pulled over by a cop, and you are stone cold SOBER. The cop asks you to take a breath test. You feel he is just trying to hassle you. You are outraged, so you refuse. The sad part about this is you could lose your license for 18 months for that refusal.

Most states have some form of an implied consent law on the books. If you are ever pulled over and suspected of DUI, you should know the law so you can best protect your rights. If you are charged with DUI it’s also important that you get an excellent, affordable DUI lawyer such as one from Greg Smith and Associates.

So, what is implied consent? In Utah, the implied consent law states that “[a] person operating a motor vehicle in this state is considered to have given the person’s consent to a chemical test or tests of the person’s breath, blood, urine, or oral fluids for the purposes of determining whether the person was operating” a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (Utah Code Annotated 41-6a-520).

Basically, according to the Utah DUI implied consent law, you consent to submit to a blood, breath, urine or saliva test by merely driving a vehicle on a Utah roadway. Typically, the police cannot conduct a search or take breath/body fluid samples from you without a warrant or your permission. Under Utah’s implied consent law, you consent (give your permission) to be tested when you operate a vehicle in the state of Utah. Once an officer suspects that you may be under the influence he can ask you to submit to one or more tests. Blood, urine and oral fluids tests are usually performed at a hospital or detention center. More commonly, an officer will use a breath-testing device to administer a breath test during a traffic stop.

Under the Utah implied consent law, there are penalties for refusing to submit to chemical tests. It does not matter whether the driver politely refuses or angrily asserts his Fourth Amendment rights. The purpose behind the law is to discourage a suspected DUI motorist from refusing to submit to a chemical test that would reveal his or her blood alcohol content (BAC). In Utah, the officer (not the driver) chooses the method of testing. “A person who has been requested under this section to submit to a chemical test or tests of the person’s breath, blood, or urine, or oral fluids may not select the test or tests to be administered.” (Utah Code Annotated 41-6a-520).

In Utah, a person may still be penalized under the implied consent law for refusing to cooperate with a chemical test if they submit to one form of testing, but refuse another. “If a peace officer requests more than one test, refusal by a person to take one or more requested tests, even though the person does submit to any other requested test or tests, is refusal under this [law].” (Utah Code Annotated 41-6a-520).

For example, suppose an officer suspects you of DUI and requests a breath and urine sample. Under the

Utah code if you agree to the breath test, but refuse the urine sample you can still be penalized under the implied consent law for refusing to submit to the urine test. Penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical test or tests under the implied consent law may include “revocation of the person’s license to operate a motor vehicle, a five or 10 year prohibition of driving with any measurable or detectable amount of alcohol in the person’s body depending on the person’s prior driving history, and a three year

prohibition of driving without an ignition interlock device.” (Utah Code Annotated 41-6a-524).

Simply put, (1) In Utah, the state can suspend your driver’s license for 18 months for a first refusal to test and 24 months for a second refusal, (2) you may be forced to pay for, install and use an ignition interlock device, and (3) you could be arrested while driving with any amount of alcohol in your system-whether or not you are impaired. In addition, your refusal to submit to a chemical test may be used as evidence against you in any civil or criminal case arising out of your operation of the vehicle in the time leading up to your arrest. The bottom line is that you should never refuse to submit to a breath, urine, blood or saliva test requested by an officer under Utah’s implied consent law because the penalty for refusing to do so is harsh. AAs

Also, as a result of the new legislation your license could be suspended for 36 months if you refuse a breath test and have a previous DUI on your record. Also, If you are under 21 and you refuse to be tested, your license could be suspended for 18 months or until you are 21, whichever is longer.

When stopped by a cop, you have a right to remain silent, but must provide the officer with your driver’s license and proof of insurance, and you don’t have to submit to a field sobriety test. Also,

you do not have to submit to the portable breath test (PBT) prior to being arrested, but you must take the breath test after you’re arrested to avoid a license suspension.

And, of course, your car may be impounded. Utah law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from drinking even single drop of alcohol, and their car can be impounded even if they are a .01. The owner of a vehicle impounded under the “Not A Drop” law is subject to the same procedure as other “DUI/” impounds.

Furthermore, if you are accused of DUI be sure to hire a DUI lawyer from Greg Smith and Associates, who will fight for you and your rights.

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