FAQs About Utah Drunk Driving Laws

Almost all states in the U.S. define intoxication as a blood-alcohol (BAC) level of 0.08, or about 3 drinks for an individual who is 140 pounds. However, in 2018, Utah made history for enforcing the strictest DUI laws in the nation, reducing the BAC level for a DUI to 0.05. Utah was the first state to mandate this new limit, with other states following shortly after. Legally, depending on your weight, you could be considered drunk after just one drink in Utah. Due to these facts, it is understandable why an individual facing a DUI charge would have a long list of questions. Today, our DUI attorneys in Salt Lake City go over frequently asked questions about Utah’s drunk driving laws.

When Is a Driver Considered Under the Influence?

In Utah, a driver is under the influence if they are incapable of safely operating a vehicle because they consumed alcohol, drugs, or another substance.

Utah’s DUI laws prohibit all motorists from operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.05% or higher or while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

What Is the Not-A-Drop Law?

Utah has a not-a-drop law which makes it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Utah?

Utah DUI penalties vary depending on the facts of the case at hand. However, here is a general outline of what a potential sentence may look like for a first, second, and third DUI offense.

1st DUI Offense

  • Maximum sentence of 180 days in jail (mandatory 2 days in jail or 48 hours of community service)
  • Fine of at least $1,310
  • 120-day license suspension
  • 1-year mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) with BAC of .16% or more (at judge’s discretion for lower BACs)

2nd DUI Offense

  • Maximum sentence of 180 days in jail (mandatory 10 days in jail or 5 days in jail plus 30 days of electronic monitoring)
  • Fine of at least $1,560
  • License revoked for 2 years
  • 2 years of mandatory ignition interlock device (with one or more prior convictions within 10 years)

3rd DUI Offense

  • Maximum sentence of 5 years in prison (mandatory 62 days in jail if prison is not ordered)
  • Fine of at least $2,850
  • License revoked for 2 years
  • 2 years of mandatory ignition interlock device (with one or more prior convictions within 10 years)

How Much Does an Ignition Interlock Device Cost?

In Utah, an ignition interlock device (IID) costs around $2 to $3 in the state. You do not pay solely for the device. You are also paying for the testing and calibration of accuracy of this device as well.

Can You Get a DUI Without Driving?

You can technically still get a DUI without driving a car. Utah courts will consider a totality of circumstances to determine if the driver was in control of the vehicle. Some factors that will be taken into consideration include:

  • Where the driver was in the car
  • If the driver had the ignition key
  • Whether the driver was touching the steering wheel
  • If the driver was asleep or awake

Can You Refuse a Breath Test?

According to Utah’s implied consent laws, if you are lawfully arrested for a DUI, you must submit to a BAC or breath test. A refusal could result in a suspension of your license. Your license could be revoked for up to 18 months for a first offense.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record?

Utah keeps track of all criminal convictions, including DUI convictions as they typically involve a license suspension. The downside to this is that a potential employer could find these records when you apply for a job.

You can have a DUI conviction taken off your record by applying for what is known as expungement. You must first meet the following requirements to seek expungement:

  • Pay all your fines (including any interest accrued)
  • Pay all restitution ordered by the court, parole, or probation

You must wait 10 years after your offense to ask for expungement. First DUI offenses in Utah are considered misdemeanor offenses, meaning they are not eligible for expungement until 10 years after your conviction, incarceration, parole, or probation – whichever occurred last.

If you have been convicted of a DUI, contact our office online or call us via (801) 901-7046 for immediate assistance.