Utah’s Implied Consent Law

Many drivers don’t realize it, but in Utah, as well as the rest of the United States, when you get your license you are consenting to future field sobriety tests. This is called implied consent and although it has been contested several times in the court of law, it has never been ruled unconstitutional. This is because American’s view driving as a privilege, not a right.

Here at Kelly Cardon & Associates, we understand how difficult it can be to keep a steady job or even accomplish basic tasks, like grocery shopping, without the ability to drive. As Utah’s most trusted DUI defense law office, we can help you get your license back and help you understand Utah’s implied consent laws.

Implied Consent Specifics

Utah is incredibly strict when it comes to their implied consent laws. While most states, including Utah, agree that being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence should result in a DUI charge, Utah goes a bit further. In Utah, being in physical control of a vehicle can mean you can face a DUI charge for sleeping in a parked car while under the influence.

Additionally, with the implied consent law in Utah, you do not have the right to refuse a field sobriety test. In fact, you do not even have the right to speak to your attorney before taking these tests. The officer who pulls you over has the right to determine which chemical test to administer to determine your blood alcohol level. They can even choose to administer several different tests.

Once you have taken these tests, you can request to have the same tests performed by a third party medical professional of your choosing. These tests must be administered as soon as possible from the time you were pulled over. The officer also gets to decide when you take these tests.

Refusing the Tests

There are serious consequences if you choose to refuse a field sobriety test. The first time you refuse a sobriety test will result in your license being suspended for 18 months, in addition to any DUI charges that could still be filed. The second and third offenses will result in a three-year suspension. It is usually never advantageous to refuse a field sobriety test. In addition to your license being suspended, you could be forced to follow through with other penalties like:

  • Home confinement
  • 48 hours of jail time
  • $700 fine
  • Community service
  • Substance abuse treatment

How We Can Help

If you are facing a DUI charge, you don’t have to fight it alone. We can help you every step of the way and reach a fair resolution, especially if you are a victim of Utah’s implied consent laws. You can contact us here or call us at 801.627.1110 if you’re in Northern Utah or 801.328.1110 if you’re in the greater Salt Lake City area.