Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Aug 19, 2019

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The state of Utah has two separate charges which can arise from driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. The purpose of having two DUI laws is to ensure that anyone driving while impaired can be charged, even if the blood alcohol content, or BAC, is less than the “legal” limit.

This allows Utah law enforcement officers to get people off the road who are a hazard, without being tied down to technicalities which may prevent effective law enforcement.

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How much is auto insurance after a DUI?

Driving Under the Influence – Utah DUI

Utah’s first DUI law is a true “driving under the influence” law with a requirement of a BAC of .08% or higher in order to enter a charge. This charge is reserved for those who are truly impaired while driving, and carries severe consequences.

Driving while Impaired – Utah DWI

The second law is a “driving while impaired” law, and the test for this charge is much simpler. If your BAC according to the breath test is .04%, or one-half of the legal limit, but you fail another portion of the field sobriety test, such as walking a straight line, you can be charged with DUI.

DUI Penalties in Utah

If you are pulled over and charged with DUI, your license will immediately be confiscated. The officer will give you a temporary, 29-day license which is valid until your court hearing.

You will be taken to jail and your car will likely be impounded, unless there is a sober driver willing to drive it for you. You will be scheduled for a court hearing on your DUI charge within 30 days.

After the hearing, if you are convicted, you may receive a 48-hour jail sentence and community service, at the discretion of the judge.

Fines for DUI begin at $700 for a first offense, but may be higher depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest; if you damaged property or injured another person, you will likely receive a much higher fine.

Your driver’s license will also be suspended for a minimum of three months, and you will be required to attend alcohol safety classes at your own expense.

Finally, the state may impose an ignition interlock device requirement on your car, especially if you seek to reinstate your license. This device fits on your dashboard and measures your BAC with a breath test every time you attempt to start your vehicle.

The installation fees and monthly maintenance costs are the responsibility of the driver for the duration of the court-ordered period.

You will also be assessed an impound fee to release your vehicle of $230, and a $200 fee from the Department of Motor Vehicles for the reinstatement of your driver’s license at the end of the suspension period.

Utah will consider any DUI obtained within ten years of the first a second offense. A second DUI offense will result in the requirement of three years of ignition interlock device requirement, a minimum $800 fine which may be higher at the judge’s discretion, and a minimum ten days in jail.

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A third or subsequent DUI will garner 1500 hours in jail, a fine of no less than $1,500, and mandatory in-patient drug and alcohol counseling and treatment, at the driver’s expense.

The driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of 12 months after the sentence is completed, and the ignition interlock device will be manadatory if a driver’s license is reinstated, often for a term of up to five years.

Further, if you are charged with felony DUI or vehicular homicide, due to damages caused while driving under the influence, the fines, jail time, and penalties will be much more severe.

A felony charge can mean over a year in jail and a fine of more than $10,000. You can also be held liable in a civil court for any damages you inflict on property or persons, and made to pay accordingly.

DUI laws for Minors and Drivers under 19

For minors and young adults, the “Not A Drop” law provides for a charge of DUI with any discernible alcohol in the blood. For drivers under 19, the license will be suspended for a year; for those 19 to 20, the license will be suspended for six months.

Utah operates under an implied consent law, which means that if you obtain a Utah driver’s license you automatically agree that you will submit to any requests for a BAC test or other field sobriety tests.

If you refuse, you have committed a crime simply by this refusal, and your license will be suspended for two years for a first offense and three years for subsequent offenses.

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Related posts:

  1. California DUI Laws
  2. Alaska DUI Laws