It is illegal in the state of Utah to operate your motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC)of 0.08% or higher. It is also illegal to operate your motorized vehicle if you are unable to do so safely, regardless of your BAC. If you have been arrested for DUI in Utah you may both a criminal and civil penalties.
Civil Penalties after a Utah DUI
Drivers in the state of Utah have given their implied consent to submit to a BAC test (chemical test of your blood, breath or urine) This law is known as the implied consent law.
If you refused to submit to the BAC test your license most likely will be revoked for 18 to 36 months. You may have been issued a temporary driving permit at the time of your DUI arrest, but if you do not challenge the administrative license suspension your right to drive will be revoked on the 30th day following your DUI arrest in Utah. Steps after DUI arrest:
- Read the information which was presented to you by the arresting officer.
- Determine if you would like to challenge the administrative license suspension. You will have 10 days to request the hearing.
- If you decide to challenge the license suspension you can contact a DUI lawyer who can review the DUI arrest and appear in court with you.
- The hearing will be scheduled within 29 days of the DUI arrest.
- If you or a DUI lawyer chooses to represent you in court you must prove 1) the arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to make the DUI stop or arrest; 2) you did not refuse the blood test.
Keep in mind, the administrative license suspension is in addition to any Utah criminal DUI penalties which you might face if you are convicted of a drunk driving charge. Additionally, if your license is suspended in Utah you will not be eligible for a hardship or work permit during the suspension and driving with a suspended license will result in a charge for a Class B Misdemeanor.
Criminal penalties for Utah DUI
After the DUI arrest the court will schedule your DUI arraignment. This will be your first court appearance and your opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. Whether you want to hire a DUI lawyer is entirely up to you, although it is highly advised. If you have not had the opportunity to talk to a DUI lawyer prior to the arraignment you may plead not guilty.
Assuming you do not plead guilty or make an agreement with the prosecution prior to trial the next step is the DUI trial. At the trial both you (the defendant) and the state (the prosecution) will be allowed to present evidence to the court. Evidence may include witnesses, and physical evidence (such as the BAC test or the field sobriety test). You or your DUI lawyer will have the chance to refute testimony and present your own evidence.
The state may be able to prove their case against you if they can prove the following:
- You had actual physical control of the car (which may not have to mean that the car was in motion).
- Blood alcohol content tests prove that you had a blood alcohol concentration above the illegal limit of 0.08 percent or greater at the time of the test or
- You were under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two which left you unable to safely operate the vehicle or
You had a blood or breath alcohol concentration above the legal limit at the time you were operating the vehicle.
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