Implied Consent and DUI Testing

Utah Is an Implied Consent State

When an individual goes into the Driver License Division to obtain a driver’s license, there is one thing that always happens–aside from waiting in a long line, filling out some forms, and getting your picture taken. But this one thing that always happens often happens without anyone realizing it takes place.

When you walk out of the DLD with your temporary license in hand, you have just formed an implied contract with the state. This contract is called “implied consent.” By obtaining your driver’s license you are implying that you consent to submit to testing for alcohol or drugs if requested by an officer.

Many people, angered by being pulled over and believing they have more rights than they do, blatantly refuse to be tested. This is a good way to get arrested. When you got your license, you gave up your right to refuse to be tested. Instead, it is important to comply with breathalyzer or other testing requested by the police officer.

If an individual refuses to submit to testing, it is usually (and generally accurately) assumed that he or she has something to hide. The natural result of this will be to bring the individual in to force testing after arrest.

If a breathalyzer is used or, later, blood is drawn, and alcohol consumption over the legal limit is discovered, the individual faces a double jeopardy with the driver’s license. In criminal court, he or she will face, along with jail time, fines, and other punishments, the potential for license suspension. Whether or not the criminal court suspends the license, the DLD can suspend the license. This is because the DLD suspension counts as a civil matter, while the court suspension is a criminal matter.

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