Utah has always had strict liquor laws such as the Zion Curtain, which required bartenders to mix drinks behind a partition. Now, the state has made the record as the harshest on drunk driving as it introduced a law that saw the legal blood limit drop from 0.08 to 0.05. This requirement will take effect late 2018.
Motorists caught operating vehicles with a blood alcohol content over the legal cap risk facing serious charges. A DUI is meant to punish drivers who were impaired by drugs or alcohol regardless of whether the BAC count was over the limit. Continue reading to find out more about Utah DUI laws.
What Is the Blood Alcohol Concentration Limit?
The Beehive State has a legal blood alcohol content of 0.08%, meaning if your BAC test exceeds this limit, the officer concerned can charge you with a DUI. All states have a Zero Tolerance for drivers who are under 21 years. Utah DUI laws set the BAC limit for underage drivers at 0.02%. Every state has laws for aggravated alcohol content, which results in enhanced penalties. As with many regions, Utah puts the limit at 0.16%, double the legal standards.
What Happens If I Get Pulled Over?
Officers can stop a driver suspected of operating a vehicle while drunk and administer a number of tests. It necessary to take the test immediately after being stopped and the officer reserves the right to select which methods to use. More than one test may be required. A suspected offender can’t consult a lawyer before taking the tests.
Can I Refuse the BAC Test?
Utah DUI laws include implied consent when stopped over for a DUI check. It means that an officer with probable cause to suspect a motorist is driving while intoxicated can request for blood, urine, or saliva sample and you should give it. If you refuse, the officer confiscates your license on the spot. They’ll replace it with a temporary permit, which is valid for 29 days.
What Happens if I Refuse It?
According to Utah DUI laws, an individual who loses his/her license for failing to take a test can request a hearing and challenge the suspension by proving that the officer did not have probable cause to stop you. A refusal to take a BAC test comes with an 18-month license suspension for a first-time offender. For a second and third offense, the license suspension period is 3 years. An officer should provide information about the penalties involved in a refusal to submit to testing incident.
Can I Plead “Wet Reckless”?
Utah DUI laws allow for plea bargains for lesser charges. Pleading guilty to a wet reckless charge comes with less severe penalties than an actual DUI. An attorney can offer insight on the suitability of a wet reckless plea in your situation.
What Are the Penalties I Should Expect?
Penalties range with the severity of the crime like how high the blood alcohol content is and the number of offenses. Utah DUI laws start taking effect immediately after an arrest. The arresting officer on your DUI charge confiscates your license before conviction and a 29-day permit takes its place. It is what the law calls a per-se arrest. The accused can submit a hearing request form in that period failure to which your license is suspended. All penalties, whether jail sentences or monetary fines, can increase or decrease at the discretion of the court.
First Offence DUI
The penalties for a first-time offender who is 21 years or over include a license suspension of 120 days, a mandatory alcohol assessment, treatment, and education. There is also a minimum incarceration of 2 days. For a 19 or 20-year-old in a not-a-drop or per-se arrest, the minimum license suspension in 6 months for a first offense. The minimum license suspension term is up to 1 year for a first offender under 19 years in a not-a-drop arrest. If it’s a per-se arrest, you can lose driving privileges for up to 2 years. Fines for first offenders are a minimum of $700.
Second Offence DUI
Utah DUI laws mandate an “Alcohol Restricted Driver” status for anyone convicted of a DUI or a license suspension due to failure to submit to a BAC test. ARD status means that you cannot operate a vehicle after consuming any amount of alcohol and police officers have this restriction in your driving history. For second-time offenders, the restriction lasts ten years along with a 2-year license suspension. In Utah, second DUI is a misdemeanor that comes with a jail term of at least 10 days and fines of up to $800. Convicted persons must serve 240 hours of community service. According to Utah DUI laws, the court can impose an alcohol treatment program and interlock ignition device as part of the sentence.
Third Offence DUI
Utah DUI laws enforce harsh administrative and criminal penalties for third-time offenders. License suspension terms range from 90 days to 3 years. The court may also require a driver to fit an IID for three years. A convicted person can get between 1,500 hours to 5 years imprisonment, participation in a drug/ alcohol program and/or a fine of up to $1,500. Third offense DUIs in Utah are felonies.
Fourth Offence DUI
If a fourth offense occurs within ten years of two prior convictions, then Utah DUI laws classify it as a third-degree felony DUI. For one, you get lifetime ARD and an interlock ignition device for no less than 6 years. Jail terms are up to 5 years, and license suspension is 2 years, or the judge may consider revocation. You can pay up to $1,500 in fines and may be required to attend a drug treatment program.
DUI offenses are very common. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of the possible administrative and criminal penalties involved with such charges. An attorney with knowledge of Utah DUI laws is a wise investment for anyone dealing with DUI arrest. With the right representation, you can reduce the charges or mount a suitable defense for less severe penalties.