In an effort to help reduce the number of injuries and fatalities from car accidents, state legislators have enacted tough laws against drunk driving – particularly when it comes to repeat offenders. If you have been arrested for a second DUI in Utah, you are at risk for increased penalties, including jail time, fines, license suspension, probation, and the loss of important professional certifications. For teenagers or college students, underage repeat DUIs can also lead to disciplinary hearings, expulsions or suspensions from school, and lost scholarship opportunities.
The bottom line is that, if you have been arrested for drunk driving twice, you are facing serious legal trouble that could impact your career and your future. You urgently need legal representation from an experienced and aggressive DUI lawyer who will fight hard to reduce your penalties. For a free consultation with a second-offense DUI attorney in Salt Lake City, contact Overson & Bugden online, or call our law offices at (801) 758-2287 today. We are available 24/7 to provide legal assistance with your DUI case.
What is the New Utah DUI Law?
A motorist can be stopped and charged with intoxicated driving if he or she is too impaired to drive normally, or if his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds certain levels. For many years, this level was 0.08, which remains the DUI threshold in most U.S. states – but not Utah. As of December 2018, the DUI limit in Utah is just 0.05, making Utah’s DUI law the country’s most restrictive.
For certain drivers, the applicable DUI thresholds are even lower, regardless of the new law. For instance, even before the law was passed, the BAC limit for commercial drivers, such as truckers, was 0.04. The strictest rules apply to drivers below the legal drinking age of 21, who may not have any detectable alcohol in their systems under Utah’s strict “Not a Drop” rules. Even with a BAC as low as 0.01 or 0.02, a teenager can be charged with underage DUI in Utah.
Is a Second DUI a Felony?
There are two basic types of crimes in Utah: misdemeanors, which are less serious, and felonies, which are more serious. While a conviction of either can have unwanted consequences – including fines, jail time, and a criminal record – a felony conviction tends to cause greater problems when you are seeking out employment, loans, housing, military service opportunities, volunteer opportunities, or scholarship opportunities. A felony conviction can also strip you of your gun rights, meaning you will be prohibited from purchasing or owning a firearm. While neither outcome is desirable from a criminal case, a felony conviction is likely to create greater challenges in your future than a misdemeanor conviction.
Your second DUI in Utah within a period of 10 years is treated as a misdemeanor offense. However, Utah has several levels of misdemeanors: Class C misdemeanors, Class B misdemeanors, and Class A misdemeanors. Class C are the least serious, while Class A are the most serious. A second-time DUI is generally a Class B misdemeanor in Utah, but can be graded (categorized) as a Class A misdemeanor if certain factors are present. These factors are that:
- The DUI physically injured somebody.
- The vehicle contained a passenger who was under the age of 16 when the DUI occurred.
- The vehicle contained a passenger who was under the age of 18, and the driver was at least 21 years old when the DUI occurred. Both of these factors must apply.
Absent one or more of these factors, a second DUI within 10 years is a Class B misdemeanor in Utah.
What is the Penalty for a Second DUI in Utah?
The courts can impose numerous penalties for a second-time DUI in Utah, including jail time, various fines and fees, supervised probation, long-term license suspension, and other consequences. Some of the penalties for a second DUI in Utah are discussed below.
How Much Jail Time Do You Get for a Second DUI?
Utah’s DUI sentencing rules require the courts to sentence convicted offenders to a certain amount of jail time. The sentence for a second DUI offense is 10 days (240 hours), either to be served in jail or, depending on the case, under “electronic home confinement,” meaning house arrest. As an alternative, certain offenders may perform an equivalent amount of time (240 hours) of “compensatory service,” which is a work program. The court will also order supervised probation after your second conviction of DUI.
How Long is Your License Suspended for a Second DUI?
The second time you are convicted of drunk driving in Utah, your license will be suspended for anywhere from about three months (90 days) to two years, depending on the details of your case. If you are under 21, your license can be revoked, denied, or suspended until either (1) you turn 21, or (2) for a period of up to two years – whichever is longer.
In addition to being jailed and losing your license, you may also be fined approximately $1,600 in combined fees, including court fees and surcharges.
Second DUI Arrest Defense Attorneys in Salt Lake City
If you or a family member was arrested for a second drunk driving offense in Utah, it is urgent that you contact a knowledgeable, dedicated, and effective criminal attorney for help. Repeat DUI cases demand strategic, skillful handling to keep penalties to a minimum. If you need legal help with a second DUI arrest in Salt Lake City or other regions of Utah, contact Overson & Bugden online to set up a free consultation, or call our law offices at (801) 758-2287 to speak confidentially with an attorney, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.