Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence can often be a terrifying experience. You will likely wonder what your sentence will be and how a conviction will impact your life.
Fortunately, you do not need to face these challenges alone. Our DUI defense lawyers can evaluate your case to determine the gravity of your situation. We can also look for weaknesses in the state’s case and identify mitigating circumstances that could lessen your charges.
Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 to talk with our DUI lawyers and receive your free case consultation.
What Constitutes DUI in North Salt Lake
You might be surprised to learn that Utah has much stricter DUI laws than other states. While drivers are guilty of DUI when their blood alcohol content, also known as BAC, is 0.08% or higher in most states, they can be arrested for DUI if their BAC is 0.05% or higher. A couple of drinks might reach Utah’s lower limit even if you do not feel intoxicated. Depending on the circumstances, a person could be arrested for DUI when driving with lower BAC limits.
If the person pulled over is younger than 21, they can be charged with DUI if their BAC is just 0.01%. Also, drivers with specialized licenses, like a trucker’s CDL, can receive a charge for DUI if their BAC is 0.04% or higher. These low limits leave little room for error.
You can also receive a DUI if you are operating a vehicle under the influence of legal and illegal drugs. The police have methods of determining if a driver is intoxicated by drugs while driving. For instance, if the police smell marijuana or notice signs of intoxication, it could be enough to investigate for DUI. However, police officers are typically trained to notice signs of other drug use, including heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines. They can also make an arrest if you take a legal prescription that inhibits your driving ability. Drug use can also be detected through urine and blood tests, however.
While still serious, it might be possible to mitigate a DUI charge down to an impaired driving charge. This is a lesser charge that is punished much less harshly than a DUI. If it is your first charge, it might be possible for our DUI lawyers to work with the prosecution to lower your charges.
Penalties for DUI Convictions in North Salt Lake
The penalties for a standard DUI conviction in North Salt Lake are severe and can significantly impact a person’s life. The nature of the penalties will largely depend on whether this is your first DUI and if there are any aggravating factors. For instance, charges will be harsher if you have multiple arrests for DUI.
First DUI Offenses
The lightest penalties will be reserved for those with their first DUI charges. However, the consequences for a first DUI offense can still have a significant impact that might be felt long after your case is resolved. For starters, your license will be suspended for 120 days, and you will usually pay a minimum of $1,400 in court fees and other fines. Also, first-time offenders can usually expect to spend a minimum of 48 hours in jail, possibly longer.
A first offense for DUI is usually charged as a Class B misdemeanor. However, to the driver could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor or felony if aggravating factors are present in the case, like driving with a child in the car at the time of the arrest.
Second DUI Offenses
Naturally, a second DUI offense will come with harsher penalties. A second offense will most likely be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, a driver will have their license suspended for two years and receive fines of around $1,600. The defendant will usually also have to spend a minimum of ten days in jail.
Third DUI Offenses
Third DUI offenses carry the toughest penalties for those convicted. For multiple convictions, a defendant could be imprisoned for a maximum of five years and have to pay up to $5,000 in fines. Punishment will also include a license suspension of up to two years. After getting out of prison, defendants will normally be placed on probation, which has its own challenges and consequences if the rules are disobeyed. Further, you might be required to place an interlock device on your ignition, preventing your car from starting if alcohol is detected on your breath before you drive.
Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in North Salt Lake
There will also be consequences if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test after being stopped by the police. If law enforcement suspects someone of driving under the influence, they can stop the driver and administer a breathalyzer exam after an arrest. While you can refuse, there are penalties for doing so. In Utah, all drivers give “implied consent” to be tested by virtue of operating on the state’s roads. This means that if you are driving, you have already consented to be tested if stopped.
If you refuse, the police must inform you of the consequences of doing so. The most common punishment for refusing a breathalyzer test is suspending your driver’s license. An 18-month suspension will be levied the first time a breathalyzer is refused. If a driver is pulled over for DUI again and again refuses a breathalyzer test, the driver will lose their license for up three years. Upon a third refusal after another DUI stop, the defendant’s license will be suspended for at least three years and could face other penalties.
The Civil Aspects of a North Salt Lake DUI Case
In Utah, DUI cases have both criminal and civil aspects. While your criminal DUI case proceeds through the justice system, your license suspension will be processed by the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Driver’s License Division (DLD), which is a civil matter. This means that you can request a hearing with the DLD to fight your license suspension. Keep in mind that a successful outcome in your civil DLD hearing will have no bearing on your criminal case. However, if you are not convicted of DUI, you might be able to reverse an adverse DLD decision.
Our North Salt Lake DUI Lawyers Can Help
For a free case review, speak with our DUI lawyers at Overson Law, PLLC by calling us today at (801) 758-2287.