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What Are the Penalties for a First-Time DUI in Utah?

Posted on in DUI

salt lake city DUI lawyerMost people understand the dangers of drunk driving, and they know that operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law. However, violations of the law do occur, and whether this happens because a person made a mistake, because they struggle with substance abuse, or for other reasons, being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can put them in a difficult situation. For those who have never previously faced accusations or charges of DUI, understanding what to expect can be difficult, and they may be unsure about the potential consequences they may face. Fortunately, by working with a criminal defense lawyer, they can determine their best options for dealing with this situation.

First-Time DUI Charges

The first thing to understand about DUI cases in Utah is that the state has a lower legal limit for drunk driving than most of the rest of the United States. Whereas drivers in other states are allowed to drive as long as their blood alcohol content (BAC) is below .08 percent, drivers in Utah may face DUI charges if they have a BAC of .05 percent or more. In fact, DUI charges may even apply if a person’s BAC is below the legal limit, since Utah law states that a person is prohibited from being in physical control of a vehicle in any situations where alcohol, drugs, or combinations of multiple substances have made them incapable of operating a vehicle safely.

A first-time DUI charge is usually considered to be a Class B misdemeanor, although charges may be increased to a Class A misdemeanor if a driver had a passenger in their vehicle who was under the age of 16, if the driver was over the age of 21 and had a passenger under the age of 18, or if the person was driving on the wrong side of the road.

The penalties for a first-time DUI conviction may include:

  • A mandatory sentence of at least two days in prison or 48 hours of community service. If a person had a BAC of .16 percent or higher, they may be required to serve a mandatory five-day sentence or a two-day sentence followed by at least 30 days of house arrest, along with electronic monitoring and substance abuse testing.

  • A minimum fine of $700, as well as impound, towing, and storage fees for their vehicle.

  • A screening and assessment for drug or alcohol addiction. A person may then be ordered to participate in an educational course, or they may be required to receive substance abuse treatment or participate in a 24/7 sobriety program. Participation in a sobriety program may lead a judge to suspend the mandatory jail sentence.

  • A sentence of probation, during which a driver will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on all vehicles they own. An IID will test a driver’s blood alcohol content before driving and during transit, and a person will be unable to drive unless they have a BAC under .02 percent.

  • A driver’s license suspension of at least 120 days.

Contact Our Salt Lake City DUI Attorneys

If you have been arrested for DUI for the first time, you may be able to defend against these charges and avoid the penalties described above, but it is important to act quickly to ensure that an attorney can help you protect your rights. Collins Rupp, P.C. can provide the legal help you need in these situations, and we will work to ensure that you can get through this situation with minimal disruption to your life. Contact our Davis County, UT DUI defense lawyers today at 385-777-2753 to arrange a free consultation.

Sources:

https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title41/Chapter6A/41-6a-P5.html

https://www.utcourts.gov/howto/criminallaw/penalties.asp

https://justice.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021-DUI-Statutory-Overview.pdf

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