Utah has recently changed their rules to actually allow a restricted or temporary license that permits drivers charged with first time DUI’s (or in rare cases even seconds or felonies)and here is how it works at least for now, with more changes expected starting May 5, 2023. Driver’s charged with a DUI can apply to the DMV for a provisional license and install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicle during their 120 suspension. Presently one needs a successful Driver Risk Assessment prior to application but expect this requirement to wane beginning on May 5, 2023. If the driver then gets a reduced charge of Impaired Driving under 41-6a-502.5 then the IID may be removed starting on the 121st day from the date of suspension or whenever that charge appears on the docket, if earlier, by paying the DMV reinstatement fee of just under $400. If that charge does not get reduced and remains a DUI then the driver must retain the IID in their car for the required 18 months.
A Refusal Is: You Must Say Yes To Every Test The Cop Asks For: First: you aren’t entitled to refuse any test the officer asks for; if he asks for breath and you blow under, and then he asks for urine and you pee in a cup, and then he asks for blood – you do not have the right to refuse under Utah law. Any failure “to immediately say yes” after the admonitions are read = refusal. However you may say “NO” to a request for the preliminary breath test by a Portable Breath Tester (PBT) – the small hand held model with the plastic straw used before arrest. Now, while you may indeed refuse to blow into the PBT portable breath testing device that is hand held by the cop before he arrests you; the problem is that most cops interpret this as a blanket refusal and then read or sometimes rarelyskip the admonitions/warnings about the 18 month revocation, and so people end up running themselves into more trouble. What you should say is this: ” I am not going to perform any field sobriety tests because I am not required by law to do so, and I am not going to blow into any PBT, however I will blow into any certified breath testing device that prints out a result, give you blood or urine, or any other test you deem necessary AFTER you arrest me.” Unless you are obviously drunk, the cop is going to let you go because he doesn’t have enough for arrest OR put another way – if he had enough for arrest he wouldn’t be administering any tests, rather he’d be arresting you.
Officers Must Read The Warning “Admonitions” To You If You Refuse At First: There is a procedure for you saying no that triggers the reading of the refusals, and that is that the officer must read through – verbatim – the admonitions that are on the DUI form; they can’t just wing it and try to explain it in plain language they must read them exactly as written – and they sound like a lot of legalese. If you hear anything about an 18 month revocation start blowing or rolling up your sleeve because if you don’t they are probably going to get a warrant anyway (although if you did no SFST’s there isn’t a lot of probable cause to base the warrant request on, is there?
If The Third Box Out of Four On The Bottom Half Of Your Summons And Citation is Checked You Are Fighting A Refusal: You ask for the hearing in the same way, within ten (10) days, but the procedure at the hearing is totally different. The hearing officer will not be concerned with your BAC reading – nor will it be admitted (so if you blew or had a blood BAC at .000 it doesn’t free you from the refusal penalty) – they will only be concerned with whether or not you were properly stopped and arrested and then whether you said “yes” after being read the refusals. There are certain tricks here that can win your refusal hearing, for example if the third box on your ticket is not checked then you weren’t properly noticed and they can’t hold a refusal hearing, but the procedure here is so infinitely variable that there is no good way to defend yourself (unless you have the easy one – the box isn’t checked).
You Then Have Two Appeals: First, if they revoke your license for eighteen (18) months you may within twenty days from the date of the letter and not from when it was received or postmarked, appeal “internally” or through the same agency by submitting a written appeal to the appeals board at the Division of Public Safety DUI Division but you need to state grounds for the appeal, for example to use the easiest winner, your hearing officer saw that your copy of the box was not checked but still held the hearing and acted; that’s a winner. Second, after exhausting the administrative appeals process by performing the above; you may file a civil suit against the Utah AG who represents the DLD in these matters; you pay a $370 filing fee as you would for any other civil action in the district court jurisdiction in which the arrest happened and since this involves filing a legal motion you are going to need an example in order to proceed and then allege facts that point to any substantive procedural aspect that could have affected the refusal. Unfortunately, if you don’t use a lawyer for this it is highly unlikely – unless you prevail by having the cop not show up – that you will be successful because the procedure itself is fairly complex for a first timer.
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