Police officers and Highway Patrolmen in the State of Utah are trained in many different forms of testing to detect driver impairment. Breathalyzer testing in the State of Utah is relied on heavily by law enforcement as evidence to establish probable cause for the arrest and to establish guilt at trial.
There are 2 types of breath tests: A portable breath test (PTB) which is a hand-held device which the officer will have with him on the scene; and an Intoxilyzer which is either in the back of the officer’s vehicle or at the police station.
The PTB is very unreliable, inaccurate, and really is only used to help establish probable cause and confirm the result of the officer’s other field sobriety tests. There is no penalty for refusing to take a portable breath test PTB in Utah. As a result, it is never advisable to take the PTB not only because of its inaccuracies but because it only helps the officer build a case against you.
The second type of breath test is the Intoxilyzer. Unlike the PTB, refusing to take an Intoxilyzer in Utah can carry stiff penalties. If you refuse the take the Intoxilyzer and it is the first time you are being arrested for a Utah DUI your license could be suspended for 2 years. If it is your second or more DUI it could be suspended up to 3 years. However, that suspension is no guaranteed. In order to preserve your license you will have to request and attend the Driver’s License Division hearing. At the hearing, the State will have to present their evidence that you were driving while under the influence. If you have not done the Field Sobriety Test and have not blown for the Intoxilyzer, the State will have less evidence to use against you increasing the strength of your defense and your chance of retaining your driving privilege. Just understand, there is no guarantee of success and there are risks for refusing to take the Intoxilyzer.
If you decided to take the Intoxilyzer and the result shows that you were (.08) or above that does not mean you should just give up. There are many things that could be wrong with the result and the experienced attorneys at Ipson Law Firm, PLLC will know which questions to ask. For example was the machine property calibrated, was the administrator’s certification current or had it lapsed, what was the reason you were stopped in the first place? All of these reasons and many more could lead to a not guilty verdict.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Utah call Michael B. Ipson at Ipson Law Firm, PLLC. We have defended many clients in Ogden, Layton, Salt Lake, Provo, and all over the State of Utah who have been charged with DUI and will fight hard to protect you. (801)332-9655