If you are arrested in Utah for suspected DUI, a police officer may ask you to submit a chemical test (e.g., breath, blood, urine, or saliva). But what happens if you refuse a post-arrest chemical test?
According to Utah’s implied consent law, any person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle within the state automatically consents to chemical testing. Therefore, if you refuse a post-arrest chemical test, you will face license suspension and potential criminal sanctions.
A first-time refusal will result in a driver’s license suspension administered by the Utah Driver License Division that lasts for 18 months. A second DUI or refusal within the last ten (10) years is punishable by license suspension for 36 months.
Underage drivers (younger than 21 years of age) are subject to a two-year license revocation period for a first-time refusal and a 36-month revocation if they have any DUI or refusal suspensions within the last 10 years. In addition, underage drivers who refuse testing cannot reinstate their licenses until they become 21.
If an officer obtains a warrant for a DUI blood test and you refuse to take a blood test despite the warrant, this is considered a “criminal refusal,” which is a Class B misdemeanor that carries a maximum jail sentence of six (6) months and/or a fine of up to $2,500. If you have two prior DUIs or refusals within the last 10 years or a prior felony DUI conviction, a criminal refusal is a third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to five years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.
Furthermore, if you are convicted of criminal refusal, you will be designated as an “alcohol restricted driver” (ARD), which means you are prohibited from driving with any amount of alcohol in your system. A misdemeanor refusal can lead to ARD designation for up to five years, while a felony refusal carries a ten-year ARD designation. An ARD violation is a Class B misdemeanor.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Salt Lake City, contact Nelson, Taylor & Associates PLLC today at (801) 901-7046 for a free initial consultation. Our firm has successfully handled thousands of cases!