Interviewer: Do people say that I didn’t refuse but they marked me down refused anyway? What kind of factors would make that happen, false refusal or unintended refusal?
Brian Frees: I have had this happen where a client consented to all the field sobriety’s, consented to the portable breath tests, and then took a ride back to the police department and the officers wanted him to do a second breath test. He’s thinking he complied with all the demands of the law enforcement that the officer wanted him to, to do the final tests which is the one that is contemplated by the refusal statute. He was very confused so he was charged with refusing to submit to a breath test, because of that.
Interviewer: Were you able to get it sorted out or did it stick?,
Brian Frees: In that particular case, the highway patrol officer did not come to the DOD hearing, so no action had been taken. That person is all right.
A Failure to Communicate or Comprehend the Officer’s Instructions May also get a Motorist Marked For Refusal
Interviewer: Any other reasons marked as false refusal?
Brian Frees: I think if there is a language barrier or some other reason why they don’t understand what they are being asked to do. I have read of cases where a person was asked to submit to a blood test, and they were so scared and afraid of needles, that they ended up refusing the blood test because of their fear of needles. A refusal statute, is 18 months for the first offense.
The Aftermath of Refusing a Chemical Test for DUI in Utah State
Interviewer: What happens if you refuse? Will they do a blood test then and test you anyways or what will happen.
Brian Frees: If you refuse, the officer would then be required to get a warrant to force you to submit to the test. At that time , almost all refusals result in your being forced to do a blood draw. They have to get a warrant, so they will have to contact the judge or magistrate, if it’s after hours he would be on call judge or magistrate that will sign on the request, for the warrant to procure your blood.
If Police Want to Administer an Additional Test , they’d be Required to Have the Motorist’s Consent or a Warrant
Interviewer: What happens if you take a breath test, will the police sometimes say, “Now we want you to do a blood test. Can they have you do multiple ones?
Brian Frees: After you’ve consented to a chemical test, they have the right to determine which test it is. If you consent and give them a valid sample of a breath test, then that’s the test that they have chosen, if they want to switch to another test, you would have to either consent to, or if you refused, they would have to get a warrant to do that .
The Majority of DUI Offenders in Utah are Arrested for Alcohol Related DUIs
Interviewer: What’s the breakdown of the cases you see in DUI due to alcohol versus. prescription drugs or illegal drugs? What do you see more of?
Brian Frees: In my practice I currently see more of driving under the influence of alcohol. Although it is a growing number of people that are, charged with. driving under the influence of either prescription drugs, or illegal drugs.
People Using Prescription Drugs Usually Admit Taking them In Front of a Police Officer
Interviewer: How would you catch someone for prescription drugs.?
Brian Frees: Usually its self-submission to the law enforcement officer, when you have been detained for something else. You have been pulled over for potentially your driving pattern or some other light is out on your vehicle, or some other basis for the officer to pull you over . In a case that I had recently, was a person was involved in somewhat minor motor vehicle accident. After questioning with the officer, it was determined that the person had taken, their prescription Ambien medication and they were subsequently charged with driving under the influence.