Young people under 21 years old are not legally allowed to consume or purchase alcohol in Utah and any other state across the country. Unfortunately, underage drinking often occurs in high schools and colleges, which has resulted in many drunk driving accidents caused by underage motorists. Because of this reason, many states have enacted “Zero Tolerance” laws that specifically address underage DUIs.
According to Utah’s “Not a Drop” policy, if a person under 21 has any amount of alcohol in his/her system, he/she will be charged with an underage DUI. In contrast, the legal limit for drivers who are 21 years of age or older is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher.
If an underage driver is either 19 or 20 years old at the time of the DUI arrest, his/her driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months. Other penalties include fines, community service, and even vehicle impoundment.
If the BAC of a 19- or 20-year-old driver is at least .05 percent, he/she will face the standard DUI penalties. A first DUI offense is punishable by a maximum jail term of 180 days, fines of up to $1,000, and driver’s license suspension for six months.
If an underage driver is 18 years old or younger at the of arrest, driver’s license suspension is one year for a first offense. If his/her BAC is at least .05 percent, then the suspension period will last two years.
The criminal and administrative penalties for an underage DUI in Utah are quite serious. Additionally, having a DUI on your criminal record can have a negative impact on your employment and academic opportunities.
If you have been arrested for an underage DUI in Salt Lake City, call Nelson, Taylor & Associates PLLC at (801) 901-7046 and online contact form today to schedule a free initial consultation. Thousands of cases handled throughout Utah!