Getting caught driving in Utah while your normal faculties are obviously impaired can result in your being charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The driving laws in Utah define being legally impaired as having a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 or greater. The law covers both excessive alcoholic consumption as well as any type of drugs or controlled substances that can impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Not complying with Utah DUI laws is considered a criminal offense. Depending on the particular circumstances and severity of the incident, one can be charged with anything from a Class B misdemeanor to a Third Degree Felony. If convicted of any DUI, the punishment can be anything from a fine and community service to suspension of your driver’s license and prison time.
Due to the extremely serious nature of the charge, most defendants will decide to hire an attorney who specializes in DUI cases and has a complete understanding of the Utah DUI laws. While one can decide to go it alone and proceed without the benefit of a knowledgeable counselor, it is not the smartest strategy. Even attorneys will hire a DUI attorney if they happen to be charged with a DUI.
Anyone charged with and convicted of either a first or second offense will be found guilty of a Class B Misdemeanor. The charge will be elevated to a more serious Class A Misdemeanor if you caused bodily injury while driving in an impaired state, were driving with a passenger who was a minor (16 or younger) or had an 18 year old passenger and you were 21 years of age or older.
The misdemeanor charges can rise to a Third Degree Felony if serious bodily injury occurred, if you had been convicted of automobile homicide anytime after July 1, 2001, or, you were previously convicted of any other felony DUI charge.
For first time misdemeanor offenders, the DUI laws in Utah call for either a minimum of 48 hours jail time, a minimum of 48 hours of work in a compensatory community service program, or, home confinement with an electronic monitoring bracelet. If the latest offense was your 2nd misdemeanor DUI within the last 10 years, the penalties increase to a minimum of 240 hours in jail, 240 hours in a supervised work program or home confinement with electronic monitoring. A third misdemeanor or any felony offense will result in a minimum jail sentence of 1,500 hours.
It is up to the discretion of the court whether or not to grant supervised probation in conjunction with or as a replacement for prison time.
Convicted for your first DUI misdemeanor -minimum of $700 fine
Convicted for a second DUI misdemeanor – minimum of $800 fine
Convicted of any felony DUI -minimum of,500 fine
OTHER POSSIBILITIES THE COURT MAY CONSIDER
- Regular screening and assessment
- Educational Classes
- Treatment Program
- Ignition Interlock System installed on your car
- Suspension or Revocation of Driver’s License