What are the penalties for refusing a breath test in Utah?

In the United States, people like to believe that they are free to make their own decisions. While this is often the case, there are times when people have limited choices. When interacting with police officers, Utah residents may think that they have the ability to make choices about how they will respond to officers. This is true in many cases — since people have the right under the Constitution to remain silent — but when a person is suspected of drinking and driving, their options become more limited.

Under Title 41 Chapter 6a Section 520 of Utah’s code, people cannot refuse chemical testing to determine their blood alcohol content level. If an officer suspects that you are drunk, and you refuse to undergo chemical testing — including either a blood, breath or urine test — then you can face additional penalties.

Implied consent laws are in place in Utah. This means that by being a licensed driver in Utah, you have agreed to take a test if you are suspected to be under the influence. Refusing to submit to testing will lead to penalties.

As 41-6a-520 explains, if you refuse a chemical test, you can lose your driver’s license. A new temporary license will only be issued after 29 days have passed. Additionally, people can lose their right to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system for a period of five or 10 years. This means you could face additional penalties if caught, even if your BAC level is under the legal limit. Finally, people can also be forced to use an ignition interlock device for three years if they refuse chemical testing.

These penalties will be in addition to any penalties that you might face if your BAC level is above the legal limit. An attorney can provide more specific information and advice — which this post cannot give — for those who are facing penalties for breath test refusal or DUI.

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