Driving under the influence is a serious crime to be charged with. Not only is driving under the influence extremely dangerous, but a conviction for Driving Under the Influence can have long-lasting consequences. A DUI conviction can give you a permanent record that could make employers wary of hiring you and severely damage your reputation.
If you are under the legal drinking age or a minor, you might face additional consequences, such as having your driver’s license taken away for years. Fortunately, a DUI Defense lawyer can help fight against your charges and represent you in a court of law.
Contact our DUI defense lawyers at Overson Law at (801) 758-2287 for a free case review.
Driving Under the Influence in Draper, UT
Utah Code § 41-6a-502 defines driving under the influence as operating a motor vehicle while affected by drugs or alcohol. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration in Utah is 0.05%. This is less than the more common 0.08% limit many states use.
“Drunk driving” is often interchanged in common conversation with “driving under the influence” as if they are the same thing. However, driving under the influence also includes operating a vehicle while using any kind of drug or other substance besides alcohol that impairs motor function. Drug DUIs and DUIs for a combination of drugs and alcohol are the most common ways that a DUI is charged aside from typical drunk driving.
You can also be charged with DUI for having a metabolite of a controlled substance in your bloodstream. A metabolite is something left over in your body from a drug that stays in your body after the drug’s effects wear off.
Utah Code § 41-6a-517(2) makes it so driving with a metabolite substance in your system is considered driving under the influence. If you are pulled over by the police in Utah having previously used a substance, you could be charged with a DUI if a metabolite is in your system.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Draper, UT
There are a number of penalties that you can face for a DUI conviction in Utah. However, the punishments for your case depend on several factors, such as the vehicle passengers, number of prior DUIs, and other circumstances.
Suspension of Driver’s License
If you do not file for what is called an administrative license hearing within ten days of your conviction, your license will be suspended for between four months and two years. Make sure you contact an attorney to make sure you get this hearing and keep your license.
First and Second DUI Convictions
The first or second time you are convicted of garden-variety driving under the influence, it is a class B misdemeanor with penalties including up to six months in jail per Utah Code § 76-3-204(2).
A first-time DUI conviction has a minimum two-day jail sentence attached. A judge has the option to substitute community service for jail time. The fine for a first conviction cannot be less than $700. A first conviction also requires mandatory probation and DUI treatment.
A second DUI conviction has a minimum jail term of ten days. Again, community service may be substituted at a judge’s discretion. Mandatory probation is also required. Additionally, a breathalyzer will be installed in your car. The minimum fine for a second conviction is $800.
A third or greater conviction is much more serious. At this point, the DUI becomes a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in a Utah state prison. A third offense does not come with the option to substitute community service.
A felony conviction will require that you be entered into a law enforcement database where you will remain listed for the rest of your life.
Penalties for Minors
Persons under the age of 21 are not legally allowed to drink alcohol. Accordingly, penalties are stricter for incidents involving people under the legal drinking age and minors. If you are convicted of a DUI, and below the legal drinking age, your driving license might be suspended for up to a year. A second offense of this type results in a two-year license suspension. The “legal limit” for drivers under 21 is lower than for drivers over 21.
A run-of-the-mill DUI is upgraded to a class A misdemeanor if there is a passenger under the age of 18 in the vehicle at the time of arrest. If you have passengers in your vehicle younger than 16 years old at the time of your DUI, you will be charged with an additional count of this crime for each such passenger.
The evidence presented against you in a DUI case is often based on scientific tests and laboratory analysis. We will leave no stone unturned in creating the best legal defense against your DUI charge. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your DUI charge, there could be several ways to suppress evidence of driving under the influence.
A motion to suppress might be the most effective way to prevent a DUI conviction. Motions to suppress evidence are filed by your attorney and argue that certain pieces of evidence are not admissible in court or should be thrown out because they were tainted or improperly obtained. A common reason to file a motion to suppress is that certain evidence might prejudice the jury and make them biased to one side or the other.
In a DUI context, you can challenge much of the evidence against you and file motions to suppress. First, you can claim that the traffic stop was illegal and potentially suppress all evidence stemming from that stop. Second, you can suppress evidence such as the field sobriety tests and blood or breath test results if the tests were performed improperly. Blood draws also require a warrant and can be suppressed if no warrant was obtained. Finally, testimony and other evidence can be suppressed if it is hearsay or it otherwise violates Utah’s Rules of Evidence.
Contact Our Draper, UT Lawyers Today
Get in touch with our DUI defense lawyers at Overson Law, PLLC, at (801) 758-2287 for a free review of your case.