A DUI charge is no laughing matter, the implications of a DUI will follow you around for the rest of your life. While we all know that driving a motor vehicle under the influence is wrong and dangerous, thousands still get convicted every day and in the United States, over 1.5 Million DUI charges are given out yearly. Utah has one of the lower rates of DUI in the country but this can be attested to the strict penalties given to those caught driving under the influence. In Utah, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. If you are caught driving with a BAC that is .08% or higher, you will be arrested and charged with DUI.
DUI penalties for Utah
The penalties for DUI in Utah depend on various factors, including your BAC, whether you have any previous DUI convictions, and whether you caused any property damage or personal injury.
If this is your first DUI offense and your BAC was .08% or higher but less than .15%, you will face up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If your BAC was .15% or higher, you will face up to 365 days in jail and a fine of up to $3,000.
If you have one previous DUI conviction and your BAC was .08% or higher but less than .15%, you will face up to 270 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,500. If your BAC was .15% or higher, you will face up to 365 days in jail and a fine of up to $3,000.
If you have two or more previous DUI convictions and your BAC was .08% or higher but less than .15%, you will face up to 360 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. If your BAC was .15% or higher, you will face up to 365 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
If you cause property damage or personal injury while driving under the influence, you will face additional penalties, including jail time and fines.
How to Avoid DUI Charges
The best way to avoid the penalties associated with DUI is to simply not drink and drive. If you are going to drink, make sure to have a designated driver or take public transportation. If you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI, be polite and cooperative with the officer but do not answer any questions that could incriminate you. Remember, you have the right to remain silent.
If you are arrested and charged with DUI, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can review the facts of your case and help you build the best defense possible.
How do the laws differ in Utah?
The Utah DUI laws are stricter than in many other states. The penalties for DUI are more severe, and the process of getting your license reinstated after a DUI is more complicated.
In Utah, you can be charged with DUI even if your BAC is below .08%. If an officer believes you are impaired, you can be arrested and charged with DUI.
The process of getting your license reinstated after a DUI in Utah is also more complicated than in other states. You will need to complete an alcohol education program and you may have to install court-mandated features into your vehicle. You will most likely be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This device prevents your vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath. You may also be required to attend regular meetings with a probation officer for any given period of time depending on the severity of your charges.