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Salt Lake City Impaired Driving Defense Lawyer

Salt Lake City Impaired Driving Defense Attorney

Impaired Driving vs. DUI Charges in Utah

In Utah, impaired driving is generally a reduced offense that may be offered in cases involving charges of driving under the influence (DUI). This means that you must first be arrested for DUI before you can attempt to reduce that charge to the lesser charge of impaired driving. An impaired driving charge is preferable to a DUI charge for many reasons, including the various penalties that you can avoid. If you or a family member was arrested for driving under the influence, you should consult with an experienced DUI defense lawyer from Collins Rupp, P.C. right away to discuss the possibility of reducing your charge to impaired driving.

Drunk Driving Laws in Utah

As mentioned above, an impaired driving offense stems from a DUI charge. Utah's driving under the influence statute explains the circumstances necessary to be charged with a DUI offense. In Utah, you can be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, or a combination of the two.

That statutory limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in Utah is 0.05. If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, the officer is likely to administer a chemical test to check your BAC. Utah has an implied consent law that applies to motorists who operate their vehicle on Utah's roadways. If you refuse a chemical test subsequent to a DUI arrest, you risk having your license automatically suspended. Additionally, Utah's DUI statute also states that if drugs or alcohol adversely impact your ability to operate a vehicle, you can be arrested for DUI.

Utah's impaired driving statute does not list separate elements of impaired driving because it has the same elements as a DUI offense. This means that if you are arrested for driving under the influence, and the prosecutor agrees to a plea deal, you could plead guilty to impaired driving instead of DUI, thereby limiting the severity of the related penalties.

Impaired Driving Penalties vs. Driving Under the Influence Penalties

If an offender meets the requirements for pleading guilty to impaired driving, they will be able to avoid some of penalties associated with a DUI conviction. To understand the advantages of an impaired driving charge you should know the penalties for a DUI charge. A first-time DUI offender will most often be facing Class B misdemeanor charges. In Utah, class B misdemeanors carry a possible jail term of six months and up to $1,000 in criminal fines.

The most common way to have a DUI charge reduced to impaired driving is by negotiating a plea deal with the prosecutor in your case. If the prosecutor and the court accept the plea, your DUI charge will be reduced to an impaired driving offense. Impaired driving is still a Class B misdemeanor, but the associated penalties are much lower compared those associated with a DUI conviction.

The main benefits of an impaired driving plea are avoiding jail time and criminal fines. However, there are other benefits as well. For example, if your license was not suspended as part of the original DUI charge, an impaired driving conviction will not result in a license suspension.

It is important to know that an impaired driving plea is not available for second or subsequent DUI charges. If you have a commercial driver's license, you are also not eligible for an impaired driving plea deal. In either of these situations, our attorneys can help you explore your available options for protecting your future.

Call 385-777-2753 for a Free Consultation

If you or a family member was arrested for DUI, contact our office right away. Call 385-777-2753 to schedule a free consultation at Collins Rupp, P.C. today. Let us help you secure the best possible outcome for your unique situation.

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