Bountiful, UT DUI Lawyer

Salt Lake criminal defense lawyer

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious charge in Bountiful. The penalties can be severe, even for first-time offenses. These penalties can include the loss or suspension of your license, fines, or jail time. Depending on whether it is a first offense or a repeated offense, driving under the influence can be a felony. Felonies have serious life consequences. It may be more difficult for you to pass a background check and get a job, friends and family may think of you differently, and your rights under the Second Amendment will be severely restricted. With so much at stake, you need to take action when accused of driving under the influence.

While DUI cases are complex, our DUI lawyers can help. Utah has a much lower legal limit than other states, so it is much easier to be charged with DUI here. In most cases, a driver will face a license suspension and fines, but it might be possible to have evidence suppressed in the case or argue for lesser charges that keep you out of jail. We will fight hard to make sure that justice is done right in your case and that you get the best possible outcome for your situation.

Call our DUI attorneys today at Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287 for a free evaluation of your case.

How a DUI is Charged in Bountiful, UT

Utah is unlike other states in that it has a much lower threshold for drunk driving. This means that, unlike in other states, where you may be able to “get away” with having a drink alongside a hearty meal at a restaurant and then driving home, your blood-alcohol content may not be low enough to be considered under the legal limit in Utah. Additionally, commercial and minor drivers also have separate legal limits.

Utah’s Legal Limit for DUIs

Utah has some of the most severe DUI laws in the country. Utah’s law against driving under the influence is found in Utah Code § 41-6a-502. In Utah, it is illegal for anyone to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05% or higher, regardless of whether they feel intoxicated or not. The BAC threshold is usually 0.08% in most other states. Thus, it is possible to be stopped and charged with DUI even if you do not feel the effects of the alcohol you drank. This can happen when several drinks are consumed quickly. It might take time before impairment sets in, leaving the person with the false belief that they are okay to drive.

Commercial DUI Limits

As previously stated, there are separate legal limits for commercial drivers. This category generally includes truckers, rideshare drivers, and operators of heavy machinery like forklifts or construction vehicles. Under Utah Code § 53-3-414, commercial drivers will lose their commercial driver’s license if they have a BAC of 0.04% or more. This is slightly less than the standard 0.05% limit. Generally, just one bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a shot of liquor will raise one’s BAC to around 0.04%, so commercial drivers should not be drinking at all while on the road.

Underage DUI Limits

Children arrested for underage DUI face many harsh penalties in Bountiful. The law prohibiting persons under the age of 21 from driving under the influence is Utah Code § 53-3-231. It makes it so that persons under 21 cannot have any detectable alcohol in their system while driving. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink in Utah. If there is virtually any alcohol in a minor’s system, they can be arrested for DUI. Underage drivers convicted of driving under the influence will usually have their licenses suspended until they are 21. However, if the driver is less than a year from 21, their license will be suspended for a full year from the date of suspension.

These might not be the only consequences an underage driver faces. Besides being illegal to drink and drive, it is completely illegal for a minor to drink. If charged with DUI, an underage driver could receive additional charges, including underage drinking, reckless driving, and many others.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

When most people think of the term “DUI,” their thoughts likely turn to drunk driving. However, in Bountiful, if you are under the influence of drugs and it impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle, you can be charged with driving under the influence. This means they can charge you even if you have not been drinking but still show signs of impairment from taking medications or illegal substances. Utah has a zero-tolerance policy for taking drugs while driving. If drugs are detected in your blood or urine after being arrested, you will face the same consequences as someone arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. This also applies to legally prescribed medications that inhibit your ability to operate a motor vehicle.

How to Defend Against DUI Charges in Bountiful, UT

Our DUI defense attorneys have several methods they can employ to help fight your DUI case in Bountiful. The most important first step in defending a case is gathering all the evidence against you in the state’s possession and reviewing it for weaknesses. This includes investigating police records to see if any mistakes or violations of your constitutional rights were made during your arrest. For instance, if evidence was illegally seized, we can file a motion to have that evidence suppressed, which will keep it out of a trial. In some cases, this might be sufficient to have a case dismissed.

Another strategy is to review the chemical reports to see if there are any errors in the police’s equipment or procedures. If evidence was processed incorrectly or the wrong blood or urine was tested, we can fight to have the evidence thrown out.

We can also challenge whether the police had probable cause to arrest you in the first place. The police need probable cause to make an arrest. This means that they have evidence that a crime has been committed and you are the likely suspect. If the officers did not do a field sobriety test or breathalyzer but arrested you because they merely suspected DUI, they will likely arrest you on suspicion of DUI and take a blood test. However, we can fight the arrest and the introduction of any evidence taken by the police during and after the incident.

If the state’s case against you seems strong, it might still be possible to have your charges downgraded in Utah. If the prosecutor in your case can be negotiated with, your DUI charge could be lessened to a charge for impaired or reckless driving. However, this is usually reserved for first-time offenders and your record will still reflect that the arrest was related to a DUI offense.

However, you should also note that some things are not available as defenses to a DUI charge. For example, under Utah Code § 41-6a-504, the fact that you were prescribed certain medications or were otherwise “legally entitled” to use drugs or alcohol is not a defense against a DUI charge.

Potential Consequences for Multiple DUI Convictions in Bountiful, UT

Several penalties are typically levied when convicted of DUI, even if it is a first offense. You could still have your license suspended regardless of whether you are ultimately convicted. First-time offenses are usually classified as Class B misdemeanors. These typically carry the most lenient sentences, which can still include hundreds of dollars in fines and a 120-day license suspension. Depending on the facts of the case, some jail time could be included beyond the time spent inside after arrest. A charge can also be upgraded to a Class A or a felony if there are aggravating factors. Even first-time offenses can be upgraded to have harsher penalties under certain circumstances. For example, under Utah Code § 41-6a-502(2)(b), driving under the influence becomes a Class A misdemeanor when a passenger under the age of 16 is present or when someone over 21 is pulled over with a passenger under the age of 18 present.

If it is a driver’s second DUI conviction, the punishment will be harsher. Penalties can include a jail sentence of up to at least 10 days, your license being suspended for two years, and a minimum of $1,600 in fines.

Third-time offenses are the most serious and are charged as third-degree felonies. You can also be charged with a third-degree felony after your first or second DUI if the crash involved serious harm. Defendants could be sentenced to five years in prison, as well as a two-year license suspension. If a driver already has a felony conviction for DUI, the prosecutor will likely upgrade the charges further to seek harsher penalties. If a DUI accident involved someone’s death, the driver could be charged with vehicular manslaughter or automobile homicide.

What to Expect Right after a Driving Under the Influence Charge in Bountiful, UT

There is a lot to process after getting charged with driving under the influence. The glut of information and things to do coming your way can make it difficult to get a grip on what is going on. Fortunately, our lawyers have broken down how DUI proceedings happen so that you have an idea of what to expect going into the process.

Getting Pulled Over

The process of getting charged with driving under the influence starts when you get pulled over. Technically, it can even start when an officer observes you enter your vehicle in an intoxicated state and prepare to drive. However, there are special considerations for those cases that may make it more difficult for the prosecution to sustain a DUI charge.

When you get pulled over, chances are that they will ask you a series of questions, including the ubiquitous, “Have you been drinking?” or, “Have you had anything to drink?” Your best option in this situation is to remain silent or not admit to anything. Do not lie to police officers under any circumstances, as the revelation that you lied to a cop can seriously hurt your case.

Field Sobriety Test

The officer may also conduct a field sobriety test. You should agree to do this test because failure to do so will likely result in immediate arrest and suspension of your license.

There is no set way that this test is conducted, but essentially the officer is going to ask you to do a series of tasks to determine whether you are intoxicated or not. This could include walking in a straight line, saying the alphabet backward, or anything else the officer comes up with. However, the random nature of the field sobriety test makes it difficult to use as proof of intoxication in a criminal proceeding, as there could be countless reasons for “failing” an arbitrary test made up on the spot.


If the officer suspects that you are driving under the influence, you will probably be arrested. At this point, you should still not say anything to the police until after you have an attorney present. Once you are in custody, if the police want to do a formal interrogation where they ask you questions, they will have to “Mirandize.” This is where they tell you that you have the right to remain silent, have the right to legal counsel, and other things. At this point, if you have not done so already, you should request an attorney right away, and our lawyers are available to help you round the clock.


An arraignment is a formal reading of charges against a defendant, and it usually happens shortly after an arrest. Often, an arraignment is the first time that a defendant hears the full extent of charges against them. This is also where you enter your initial plea of “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.” Under most circumstances, it is best to enter a plea of not guilty, as that preserves your right to trial, and you will still be able to potentially make deals with prosecution later down the line.

Trial Prep

After an arraignment, there is a lot of preparation that needs to go into a case before it ever goes to trial. Bot the prosecution and our lawyers will be going over the evidence, interviewing witnesses and other important parties, and even exchanging information so that both sides are on the same page. This time is used to form a strong argument for you to take to court so that you have a good chance of a favorable outcome when you are charged with driving under the influence.

Our Bountiful, UT DUI Defense Lawyers Can Help You

Contact Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287 for a free review of your case with our DUI defense lawyers.