Chemical Alcohol Tests

st george-dui-attorney-david-laurence-altman-st-george-dui-lawyerAfter being arrested for a DUI, you will be transported to a police station, sheriff’s office or highway patrol headquarters where you will be read certain admonitions and advised that you are required by law to submit to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content.  The arresting officer may give you a choice of blood, breath, urine or oral fluids test but in most cases the decision of which test to administer is solely up to the officer.  That officer can even insist that you submit to all four tests.
The breath test is the least intrusive and involves blowing into a breathalyzer machine; the oral fluid test involves obtaining a sample of your saliva, the urine test requires you to produce a urine specimen the blood test involves a blood draw from your arm.
Make no mistake, once arrested you must submit to whichever chemical test or all tests that are requested.  Utah’s implied consent laws give the arresting officer the right to demand that you take a chemical alcohol test and your refusal is a violation of law.
You do not have the right to insist that your own doctor draw your blood or that your lawyer be present during the test procedure.
Refusal cases can be very difficult to contest unless it can be established that probable cause to make an arrest did not exist. Any refusal, even if subsequently withdrawn, will count as a refusal for the Division of Driver License and result in an automatic suspension of your driver license for eighteen months, regardless of the outcome of your DUI case.
 

41-6a-520.   Implied consent to chemical tests for alcohol or drug — Number of tests — Refusal — Warning, report.
            (1) (a) A person operating a motor vehicle in this state is considered to have given the person’s consent to a chemical test or tests of the person’s breath, blood, urine, or oral fluids for the purpose of determining whether the person was operating or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while:
            (i) having a blood or breath alcohol content statutorily prohibited under Section 41-6a-502, 41-6a-530, 53-3-231, or 53-3-232;
            (ii) under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or combination of alcohol and any drug under Section 41-6a-502; or
            (iii) having any measurable controlled substance or metabolite of a controlled substance in the person’s body in violation of Section 41-6a-517.
            (b) A test or tests authorized under this Subsection (1) must be administered at the direction of a peace officer having grounds to believe that person to have been operating or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while in violation of any provision under Subsections (1)(a)(i) through (iii).
            (c) (i) The peace officer determines which of the tests are administered and how many of them are administered.
            (ii) If a peace officer requests more than one test, refusal by a person to take one or more requested tests, even though the person does submit to any other requested test or tests, is a refusal under this section.
            (d) (i) A person who has been requested under this section to submit to a chemical test or tests of the person’s breath, blood, or urine, or oral fluids may not select the test or tests to be administered.
            (ii) The failure or inability of a peace officer to arrange for any specific chemical test is not a defense to taking a test requested by a peace officer, and it is not a defense in any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding resulting from a person’s refusal to submit to the requested test or tests.
            (2) (a) A peace officer requesting a test or tests shall warn a person that refusal to submit to the test or tests may result in revocation of the person’s license to operate a motor vehicle, a five or 10 year prohibition of driving with any measurable or detectable amount of alcohol in the person’s body depending on the person’s prior driving history, and a three-year prohibition of driving without an ignition interlock device if the person:
            (i) has been placed under arrest;
            (ii) has then been requested by a peace officer to submit to any one or more of the chemical tests under Subsection (1); and
            (iii) refuses to submit to any chemical test requested.
            (b) (i) Following the warning under Subsection (2)(a), if the person does not immediately request that the chemical test or tests as offered by a peace officer be administered, a peace officer shall, on behalf of the Driver License Division and within 24 hours of the arrest, give notice of the Driver License Division’s intention to revoke the person’s privilege or license to operate a motor vehicle.

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