Utah has some of the most stringent laws for driving under the influence. For a first-time DUI, you will be looking at a $1,500.00 fine, 48 hours in jail, and a license suspension of 120 days. For additional offenses within a ten-year period, the penalties are as follows:
- 2nd Offense: 240 hours jail, $1,500 fine, 2-year license suspension.
- 3rd Offense: 1,500 hours jail, $1,500, and 2-year license suspension.
For a first-time DUI offense in Utah, you may be able to enter a plea for impaired driving. The prosecutor must agree to an impaired driving plea. Additionally, you must also have had a BAC under .14 at the time of your arrest before the prosecutor will consider an impaired driving offense, rather than a DUI.
Common Criminal Defenses Against a DUI in Utah
DUI defenses generally fall into two categories, those that are related to the actual driving of a vehicle and those that are related to the mechanics of the arrest itself. Many cases of drunk driving actually hinge upon whether or not the arrestee was in actual control of the vehicle. A common theme with DUI defenses is whether or not the officer carried out the arrest procedure within the confines of the law. Here are some recent cases where the mechanics of the arrest has been used as a defense in court:
- Murray City v. Hall: In this case, the state did not produce affidavits that the Breathalyzer machine was working properly. This was raised as a defense in this case.
- Salt Lake City v. Garcia: In this case, it was ruled that the horizontal gaze nystagmus test couldn’t be used as evidence of actual intoxication.
- Salt Lake City v. Womack: In this case from 1987, Utah’s “Baker Test” was used as a defense, where the officer must observe the defendant for at least 15 minutes before making an arrest.
Going With a Criminal DUI Lawyer Rather Than a Public Defender
In more serious DUI cases, especially ones that involve the loss of life, a public defender does not always have the time and resources to mount the best defense at trial. With Salt Lake DUI lawyer Clayton Simms on your side, you will:
- Get a significant amount of one-on-one effort to find the best defenses to use in your DUI case.
- Be advised on every step in the process of defending a DUI.
- Get an outcome in your case that will make it easier for you to move on with your life.