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When Can an Officer Arrest You for a DUI?

 Posted on December 11, 2023 in DUI

UT defense lawyerIn 2017, the Utah legislature passed a bill that lowered the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit to 0.05 grams/deciliter, aiming to avoid accidents due to drunk driving.

While a BAC will reveal if a motorist has been drinking, police officers also look for signs of impairment. Evidence of impairment can include anything from swerving between lanes, drifting, erratic braking, and even tailgating.

To keep you informed, our Salt Lake City DUI defense attorneys would like to discuss Utah’s DUI laws and what signs of impairment police officers look for when making a traffic stop.

Utah Blood Alcohol Limit

House Bill 155 lowered the BAC in Utah from 0.08 g/dL to 0.05 g/dL. Commercial drivers are held to an even higher standard. If you have a commercial driver’s license, the BAC limit is 0.04 g/dL.

A blood alcohol level may be obtained through testing a person’s blood, breath, or urine. Breathalyzer tests are notorious for being unreliable, with results indicating that people are drunk when they are, in fact, sober.

If you were charged with a DUI based on a breathalyzer test, a Davis County DUI defense attorney may be able to gather the necessary evidence to prove you were sober. This will likely be grounds for dismissing your case.

Signs of Impairment

A police officer must have probable cause to arrest you for a DUI. Since a blood chemistry test is not conducted until after an arrest, law enforcement must rely on signs of impairment to make a DUI arrest.

It is important to note that while impairment impedes your physical and mental capabilities, intoxication is the presence of alcohol in your system. Though there may be indications that you are impaired while you are driving, other “red flags” may become obvious once the officer conducts a field sobriety test.

Signs of impairment may include, but are not limited to:

  • Weaving in and out of lanes
  • Swerving or drifting
  • Reduced ability to track moving objects
  • Variations in speed
  • Difficulty steering
  • Erratic braking
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Having difficulty with vehicle controls

A person’s ability to make driving-related decisions usually diminishes as his or her BAC increases. This means that law enforcement can still charge you for a DUI if you are exhibiting signs of impairment, even if your BAC is below 0.05 percent. Having reliable counsel on your side is a must to combat these charges.

Arrested for a DUI? Contact a Salt Lake City, UT, DUI Defense Attorney Today

As part of the state’s efforts to reduce drunk driving fatalities, Utah law imposes harsh penalties on intoxicated drivers. Even if you have a clean record, a DUI conviction can land you in jail, force you to pay large fines, and even suspend your driving privileges. This can all take place even if you are a first-time offender.

If you have been arrested for a DUI, you need a Davis County, UT, DUI defense attorney to represent you. Contact Collins Rupp, P.C. today online or by calling 385-777-2753 to schedule your free consultation.  

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