If you have been charged with a DUI in Utah, you are facing serious penalties. A DUI is no longer a mere traffic violation. The Utah laws regarding DUI are strict and are aggressively enforced. Because the laws are so complicated, you may not understand them completely, nor the ramifications they present. A qualified local Utah DUI attorney will be able to explain the laws to you and assess and defend your case as it moves forward. Under no circumstances should you enter the court room without legal representation from a DUI attorney.
In Utah, you can be arrested if your BAC (blood alcohol content) is .08 or higher. Note that it has nothing to do with your ability to drive your vehicle. If you are stopped for any unrelated infraction, and the officer detects alcohol on your breath, you’ll be asked to take a breathalyzer test. If your results return a BAC of .08, you will be arrested, even if your driving was not the reason you were pulled over. Another way you can be arrested in Utah has nothing to do with your BAC. If the officer merely has reason to believe you are incapable of driving the vehicle safely, no matter what your BAC, you will be arrested.
After your arrest, you’ll be facing two simultaneous legal cases. One case will deal with the criminal court, and will determine your jail time, fines and fees, and remedial education programs. The other case will be handled by the DLD, who will handle the suspension and reinstatement of your driver’s license. Among other things, you will be asked to take a breathalyzer or other test to determine your BAC. If you refuse, you’ll face a mandatory 90 day license suspension and a 24 month “alcohol restricted driver” license, once your license is reinstated. The alcohol restricted driver is a zero tolerance license under which you may not have any detectable alcohol in your system while operating your vehicle. Additionally, there are other circumstances that will dictate you being given an alcohol restricted driver license. A qualified local DUI attorney knows the law and can help with your case. Call today for a free consultation about your case and get your questions answered.
If you are arrested outside your home state, be sure to ask your attorney how this law will impact you.
The penalties listed below are called for by statute, are not complete, and can often be removed or reduced significantly with the assistance of a local Utah DUI attorney.
FIRST OFFENSE CONVICTION
• Incarceration – 48 hours to 6 months in jail.
• Fines – minimum $700 up to $1,000 plus additional fees
• License Suspension – mandatory 120 days; 18 months for refusal to submit to a chemical test
• Insurance – SR22 proof of insurance form mandatory before suspended license reinstated
• Ignition Interlock Device – required to be installed on your vehicle if you refused a chemical test. Must be installed on vehicle before license will be reinstated
• Alcohol & Drug Education – mandatory completion of a drug and alcohol education program
• Community Service – court may choose to require 48 hours community service or home electronic monitoring instead of minimum jail sentence of 48 hours.
ADDITIONAL COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES
• Bail – amount set by the court, required before being released after being arrested
• Towing – impound fee of $330 plus towing fee if applicable. Vehicle must have current registration before it will be released.
• Insurance – required to carry high risk SR22 insurance for three years. As a designated “high risk” driver, your insurance company will raise your rates significantly. Expect your insurance rates to double or more.
• Record – DUI conviction will remain on driving record permanently
• Employment – offender may lose time off work and possibly even their job.
• Vehicle – possible vehicle seizure for multiple violations
Additional offenses will bring significantly higher penalties, up to 6 years in prison and $5000 in fines. Don’t take a chance with your freedom. It is highly recommended that you contact a qualified DUI attorney right away for a FREE CONSULTATION on your case. It is possible your case CAN be won with the right representation.