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What is implied consent in relation to a DUI charge?

Some Utah residents may have heard that refusing to take a breath test when suspected of driving under the influence makes it more difficult for prosecutors to prove impairment. That may be true, but it also may not stop you from facing a DUI charge. Further, there are risks involved with such a refusal.

This is because all states, including Utah, have what are called laws of implied consent. When you applied and tested to obtain your driver's license, you consented to undergo testing if you are ever suspected of being impaired while driving. This includes field sobriety tests and breath tests.

As such, there is the possibility of your license being suspended for a finite period of time simply for not submitting to a breath test. How long the suspension is depends on several factors, including whether this is your first DUI charge. If it turns out that you are convicted of drunk driving, penalties could be harsher due to the refusal. Some car insurance companies will also automatically terminate your policy if your license is suspended for refusing a breath test.

An individual may still decide to refuse to submit to a breath test, but foreknowledge of the possible penalties will at least help in making an informed decision. However, this article should not be construed as legal advice regarding that decision. It merely provides an explanation of implied consent laws and the potential consequences. Anyone facing a DUI charge should seek advice and assistance from someone knowledgeable in this area. A review of the evidence and circumstances surrounding the traffic stop and refusal may reveal a way to resolve the matter while protecting your rights.

Source: FindLaw, "Implied Consent Laws", , Aug. 25, 2014

Source: FindLaw, "Implied Consent Laws", , Aug. 25, 2014

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