St. George Utah DUI and DWI Defense
In March of 2017, the State of Utah lowered the maximum blood alcohol limit for drivers from .08 percent to .05 percent, making it the strictest DUI state in the nation. This new law is set to take effect in December of 2018. The American Beverage Institute estimates that a 120 pound woman can reach .05 percent with little more than one drink. The Park Law Firm encourages all drivers to be vigilant about monitoring their alcohol consumption before getting behind the wheel. If you think there is a chance you might be considered legally impaired, make arrangements to get a ride with a sober driver or call a cab.
DUI Arrests in Utah
First time DUI offenders in Utah receive a mandatory jail sentence of at least two days. In some cases, this sentence can be served in the form of a work service program. There are some alternative sentences available for certain offenders which may include home confinement, electronic monitoring and strict probation terms.
In addition to jail time, first time DUI offenders are fined $700. This does not include any expenses relating to completing the terms of the sentence. Some of these expenses involve education programs, the cost of a reinstating driver’s license, or home monitoring programs.
If you are arrested for DUI, your drivers license is immediately confiscated. The arresting officer issues a citation that expires 29 days from the arrest. This is called a Per-se arrest. You must also submit a Hearing Request Form within 10 days. Failure to do so will result in your drivers license being suspended by the Driver License Division.
Refusing Chemical Tests
If you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI, you have a right to refuse chemical tests or a breathalyzer. However, failure to comply with such tests have strict consequences which involve losing your drivers license. They include the following:
Under 21 years old
- 1st offense: until the offender’s 21st birthday or 2 years
21 years or older
- 1st offense: 18 months
- 2nd offense: 2 years
Drivers under the age of 21 in Utah are subject to Not-a-Drop penalties. This law makes it illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to have any measurable amount of alcohol in their systems. Jail times vary for Not-a-Drop arrests:
19 to 20 years old
- 1st offense for a Not-a-Drop arrest: 6 months
- 1st offense Per-Se arrest: 6 months
Under 19 years old
- 1st offense Not-a-Drop arrest: 1 year
- 1st offense Per-se arrest: 2 years
Not-a-Drop arrests require an assessment by a substance abuse program which then recommends when a drivers license can be reinstated.
Each case is different, but DUI convictions carry a number of penalties. They may include the following:
- Jail Time
- Fines plus Court costs
- Suspended drivers license
- Drug or alcohol treatment
- Community Service
- Impounded vehicle fees
- Fees associated with Interlock Devices
It is up to the Court to decide the exact nature of these penalties. The Court will take into consideration previous arrest records and the circumstances of the DUI arrest.
DUI Vehicle Impounds
Drivers arrested for DUI in Utah should expect their vehicles to be impounded. The driver has 30 days to pay a $350 impound fee before the vehicle is legal to drive again. To get a vehicle released from impound, the following information must be provided:
- Photo identification
- Proof of vehicle registration
- Vehicle Impound Report provided by the arresting officer
- Payment of the $350 fee
Alcohol Restricted Driver
If you have been convicted of DUI or have your drivers license sanctioned by refusing a chemical test or breathalyzer, you automatically become an Alcohol Restricted Driver. This means you are prohibited from driving with any amount of alcohol in your system, even if it is under the legal limit. The length of this restriction is determined by the Court. If you violate the conditions of this restriction, your license will be revoked for 1 year.