Utah Implied Consent
The biggest piece of evidence used in a driving under the influence (DUI) case is the blood alcohol content (BAC) reading from the breathalyzer or blood test. If an individual tests over the legal limit of .08%, he or she could be convicted of drunk driving. In an effort to compel individuals suspected of impaired driving to submit to one of these tests, Utah has passed an "Implied Consent" law.
Utah Implied Consent
Under the Implied Consent law, any person who is operating a vehicle on Utah's roadways automatically gives their consent (meaning it is implied) to take a breathalyzer test if suspected of drinking and driving. If you refuse the test, not only can you still be charged with DUI but you will also face serious penalties for violating this law.
For a first breathalyzer refusal, your license can be automatically suspended for 18 months by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This suspension is increased to three years for a second and third refusal. Please note that fighting your suspension is possible, but you have to act quickly--Utah only gives you 10 days to get your hearing request to the DMV in order to appeal the loss of your driving privileges.
Fighting your administrative license suspension is vital because Utah--unlike many other states--does not grant limited work permits to individuals who need their vehicle to travel to and from work. This means you must either rely on public transportation or rides from others while your license is suspended. And, if you are caught driving on a suspended license, you could face serious repercussions.
The consequences don't end with your administrative license suspension--you could also face problems with your criminal case if you refuse to take the breathalyzer. In fact, the prosecution can use your refusal as evidence of your guilt during the trial. The arresting officer can also testify about how you looked and behaved during your traffic stop to prove that you were impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.
Contact a Utah DUI Defense Lawyer Today
As you can see, there is a lot on the table when you are accused of breaking the state's Implied Consent law. Fortunately, there may be defense strategies that can be applied to your case in order to avoid serious penalties.