How a DUI Could Impact Your Life

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Drunk driving is a serious crime, and Utah’s DUI laws treat it as such. If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Utah, you could be facing serious consequences that have the potential to follow you for the rest of your life. It can result in a suspended driver’s license, fees and fines, rising insurance premiums, court-mandated community service, participation in drunk driving education programs, and even jail time. Unfortunately, the long-term effects of a DUI can be much more harmful and costly than you realize at first. You could face driver’s license revocation, complications with employment, it can impact scholarships or academic standing, and even affect your professional and personal relationships.

Even after you pay your fines and fulfill your legal obligations, your DUI conviction can still undermine your future opportunities and haunt your life for years. Learning how you might be affected by a DUI is an important first step for protecting yourself, your family, and your future. The steep penalties that come with a drunk driving arrest can be avoided by staying in touch with a knowledgeable and aggressive DUI defense attorney that knows how to fight for you and your rights. Having an expert defense team in your corner can vastly affect the outcome of your DUI case. Avoid years of embarrassing and expensive penalties. Let Utah Freedom Fighters fight for you!

Utah DUI Penalties

Utah treats DUI charges differently depending on whether it’s your first offense or not and how high your BAC level was. First-time offenders face less serious consequences compared to repeat offenders. It’s important to note that penalties are not automatically set in stone and can vary depending on the unique circumstances of your case. DUI penalties can vary depending on how high your blood alcohol content (BAC) level was, if you’ve had any previous drunk driving convictions or a prior criminal record, and whether or not other aggravating factors are present. Unless it’s a serious DUI offense, the judge will not usually impose the maximum penalties.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the penalties that you can face from a DUI conviction in the state of Utah include:

  • Imprisonment: A drunk driving conviction in Utah can result in a jail or prison sentence ranging from a couple of days to up to 5 years.
  • Fines: Court fines for a Utah DUI conviction range from $1,400 to $3,000 or more depending on your criminal history. Lawyer fees should also be taken into consideration in addition to court fines.
  • Driver’s License Suspension: After a Utah DUI conviction, you may lose your driver’s license if you don’t follow our exact steps on what to do after a drunk driving arrest. Your license can be suspended anywhere from 120 days to up to 2 years.
  • Criminal Record: In addition to convictions, arrests and investigations will also stay on your criminal record. This means that your DUI case will be visible to anyone who runs a background check, including potential employers. After a certain period of time has passed, you may qualify for having your record expunged once all conditions are met.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): If convicted of drunk driving in Utah, you may need to install an IID on your vehicle for up to 2 years in order to restore or maintain your driving privileges. This device measures the BAC of a driver before the vehicle can start.
  • Probation or Parole: In order to stay out of jail or get out of prison early, you may be sentenced to supervised probation or parole after being convicted of a DUI in Utah. While probation and parole are great opportunities for rehabilitation, they each come with a strict set of rules that must be followed.

A skilled DUI attorney like ours can help fight the charges against you and lessen the consequences a conviction can have on your life. If you have been arrested for or charged with driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the state of Utah, it’s important to speak with an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible. With thousands of DUI cases resolved, our drunk driving attorney knows exactly how to beat your case. We offer free consultations to provide you with the legal resources and information you need to get the best outcome for your case. Get started with a risk-free case evaluation today or continue reading for specific DUI penalties for first, second, and third offenses.

Aggravating Factors for DUIs

Some aggravating factors that could make Utah DUI penalties harsher include:

  1. Having a previous criminal record
  2. Causing bodily injury or death
  3. Having a minor in the car
  4. Driving on the wrong side of the highway

Utah DUI Penalties by Offense

Here are some of the minimum and maximum penalties for a drunk driving conviction in Utah by the number of DUI offenses you’ve had in the past 10 years:

First Offense DUI Penalties

The penalties for a first offense DUI in Utah include:

  • Classification: Class B misdemeanor (or Class A for serious cases)
  • Jail Sentence: Minimum of 48 hours to up to 6 months
  • Driver License Suspension: 120 days to 2 years
  • Fine: Minimum $1,400 including court fees
  • Supervised Probation: 0-12 months
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): 0-1 years

Additional penalties for a first offense DUI could include:

  • Substance abuse treatment
  • 24/7 sobriety program

Second Offense DUI Penalties

The penalties for a second offense DUI in Utah within include:

  • Classification: Class B misdemeanor (or Class A for serious cases)
  • Jail Sentence: Minimum of 10 days to up to 6 months
  • Driver License Suspension: 120 days to 2 years
  • Fine: Minimum $1,580 including court fees
  • Supervised Probation: Up to 18 months
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): 2 years

Additional penalties for a second offense DUI could include:

  • Substance abuse treatment
  • 24/7 sobriety program

Third Offense DUI Penalties

The penalties for a third offense DUI within 10 years or a felony DUI conviction in Utah include:

  • Classification: Felony
  • Jail Sentence: 0-5 year prison sentence, or minimum of 60 days in jail
  • Driver License Suspension: 1 to 2 years
  • Fine: Minimum $3,000 including court fees
  • Supervised Probation: up to 36 months
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): 2 years
  • Other: Substance abuse treatment

Additional penalties for a second offense DUI could include:

  • 24/7 sobriety program

The Consequences of a DUI in Utah

Here’s a further breakdown of the ways a DUI conviction in Utah can impact your life and your future:

1) Criminal Record

A first or second DUI is typically a Class B misdemeanor, but may be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor if aggravating factors (like having a child in the car or if there is serious bodily injury) are present. A third DUI offense may be charged as a felony if it is within 10 years of your first DUI conviction. We’ll aggressively fight to ensure nothing goes on your record!

2) Jail time

First DUI: 48 hour mandatory minimum jail sentence. Additional penalties for a first time DUI may include probation, DUI classes, substance abuse treatment, court fines and other penalties. Additionally, even a first offense DUI will make you an ‘interlock restricted driver’ meaning that you will have to install and maintain an ignition interlock device in your car for up to 18 months.

Second DUI: 240 hour minimum jail sentence; or 240 hours work service; or electronic home confinement/ankle monitoring. Mandatory supervised probation and treatment, as well as, other punishments.

Third DUI: 0-5 year prison sentence; or a 1,500 hour (62.5 days) minimum jail sentence. Additional penalties as indicated above.

3) Driver’s License Suspension

In addition to the criminal penalties you face if convicted of a DUI, you also face severe civil penalties just for being arrested. Long before your first criminal court date, your driver’s license will be suspended unless you request a hearing within 10 days. Even then, you will have to present your case to the driver’s license hearing officer. They typically will suspend your license almost every time unless you can effectively convince him/her that the police officer did not conduct the field sobriety tests correctly (very hard to do on your own), or if he was not properly trained or certified to take your breath/blood (very hard to prove on your own), or that you actually had a physical problem that limited your ability to perform the tests, or that the environmental conditions undermined your ability to perform the tests. Learn more about how to save your driver’s license after a DUI arrest.

Typical Utah Driver’s License Suspensions After DUI

First DUI:
– 120 day driver’s license suspension
– Alcohol restricted driver for 2 years
– If convicted, you will be ‘interlock restricted’ for 18 months

First DUI (under 21 years old): 6 months or until you are 21, whichever is longer

Second DUI: 2 year period of revocation

Second DUI (under 21 years old): 2 year revocation or until you are 21, whichever is longer

Some Additional “Collateral” Consequences of a DUI

DUI convictions also include numerous ‘collateral consequences’ that can affect you. These are consequences that are not necessarily spelled out in Utah’s DUI Code (statutory law). A few examples of collateral consequences from a DUI conviction in Utah can include:

  • Possibly not being allowed to visit foreign countries for vacation
  • Being ineligible for jobs
  • Issues with security clearances
  • Potential of significant immigration implications for non-citizens

Whether this is your first DUI or your third, you need the experience of Utah Freedom Fighters to fight for your freedoms! We can help you negotiate a plea deal to lessen the harsh consequences on your life, we will challenge your case with motions to suppress evidence, or we can take your case to a jury for a shot at an acquittal. We will protect your constitutional rights, your driving privilege, and your freedom. Contact us now for a free consultation.

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