Salt Lake City Underage (21 Years Old) DUI Lawyer
In Utah, it is always illegal to drive while drunk or under the influence of drugs, regardless of your age or driving experience. However, drivers who are under the legal drinking age of 21 face especially strict DUI laws – and especially harsh consequences. If you or your son or daughter was arrested for drunk driving under the age of 21, consequences could include jail time, fees and fines, loss or denial of your driver license, probation, community service, and other serious outcomes. You could also lose eligibility for certain scholarships, volunteer opportunities, or work and internship programs, creating obstacles that can get in the way of your career goals or academic pursuits.
If you or one of your family members has been charged with underage drinking and driving in Utah, you need a tough and experienced defense lawyer to fight in your corner. Darwin Overson is a Salt Lake City underage DUI lawyer with more than 16 years of experience fighting felony and misdemeanor charges involving drunk driving, drugged driving, impaired driving, public intoxication, underage possession of alcohol, possession of fake ID, and other charges involving underage drinking. For aggressive, cutting-edge legal help fighting minor DUI charges, look to Overson Law, PLLC – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact us online for a free consultation, or call (801) 758-2287.
What is the BAC Limit in Utah for Drivers Under Age 21?
Your BAC is your blood alcohol content. The more alcohol is present in your system, the higher your BAC readout will be. However, it may be possible to challenge the accuracy of your BAC readings.
If your BAC exceeds certain limits, or if you appear to be driving in an unsafe and impaired manner, you can be charged with driving under the influence. In December 2018, statewide BAC limits were reduced from 0.08 to 0.05, giving Utah the country’s strictest DUI laws.
For drivers who are below the legal drinking age of 21, BAC limits are even stricter. Even before the new BAC limits took effect in December, Utah followed strict “Not a Drop” rules, which prohibit underage drivers from operating a vehicle with any measurable quantity of alcohol in their bodies. A BAC as low as 0.02 or even 0.01 violates Utah’s Not a Drop regulations, even if the driver is not actually impaired.
Utah is called a “Zero Tolerance” state for this reason. Zero Tolerance rules apply not only to passenger cars, but also scooters, motorcycles, and any other motorized vehicle.
Penalty for DUI Under 21 in Utah
There are two types of DUI offenders under the age of 21:
- Offenders age 18 or older, whose DUI cases are generally tried in regular adult court.
- Offenders under age 18, whose cases are heard by Utah’s juvenile courts.
- Though minors can sometimes be tried as adults, these types of cases generally involve violent felonies, such as attempted murder or aggravated robbery charges.
Alleged DUI offenders who go to adult court will face the possibility of being convicted and receiving criminal penalties, which are discussed in greater detail below. Juvenile courts are civil in nature, but can still impose harsh consequences on underage DUI offenders – who may also face additional consequences at school, work, or internships.
DUI Penalties for Minors
A teenager under 18 who is arrested for DUI faces the revocation, suspension, or outright denial of his or her license for an extended period of time – potentially several years, until his or her twenty-first birthday. He or she may also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in his or her car. An IID acts like a breathalyzer that prevents the vehicle’s engine from starting if alcohol is detected. The IID requirement also applies to older drivers who are still under the age of 21.
DUI Penalties for Adults
Adult DUI defendants face jail time, fines, and other criminal penalties, depending on factors like BAC, history of prior offenses (where applicable), and whether there were passengers below a certain age in the vehicle. DUI penalties for a first offense in Utah may include the following:
- 48 hours in jail
- Assorted fines totaling approximately $1,400
- Driver license suspension period ranging from 90 days to 24 months
- Evaluation, assessment, and, where appropriate, treatment for alcohol abuse
Underage DUI Defense Attorneys in Salt Lake City
Make sure you take action today to protect your child’s future tomorrow. If your daughter or son was arrested for drunk driving in Salt Lake City, you need a DUI defense lawyer with specific experience handling cases involving minors and juveniles. To set up a free legal consultation concerning an underage DUI arrest, call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287, or contact our law offices online today.