Utah Drunk Driving Laws and Penalties

About DUI offenses

In Utah, a drunk driving conviction is generally considered a misdemeanor unless additional circumstances apply. Charges of violating DUI laws in Utah are based on actual control of a vehicle, blood alcohol content (BAC), toxicology blood results, the vehicle type and extent of injuries.

For those under age 21, the individual is an Alcohol Restricted Driver and they must not drive with any alcohol in their system. Specific suspensions will be imposed upon the driver depending upon their age. If a driver under age 21 at the time of arrest refuses to submit to a chemical test, their license will be revoked until age 21 or for a period of 2 years whichever is longer for a first offense.

If a driver is 21 or older at the time of arrest and refuses to submit to a chemical test, their license will be suspended for 18 months for a first offense, and 36 months for a second or subsequent refusal after an arrest.

Any person being convicted of a DUI violation will be ignition interlock restricted. For those under age 21 the restriction will be imposed for 36 months and for those 21 or older the ignition restriction will be for 18 months.

Utah DUI penalties for a first offense

A first-time DUI conviction carries with it the following potential penalties:

  • Minimum sentence
    • Two days (48 hours) of jail time, for which hours of community service or house arrest with an ankle monitor may possibly be substituted
    • $1,395 in fines
    • Good Behavior probation
    • License suspension for 120 days
    • Alcohol and drug screening
    • PRIME for Life Class
  • Maximum sentence
    • Six months of jail time
    • $1,940 in fines, with additional fees
    • License suspension for two years
    • Court-mandated substance abuse testing and treatment
    • Supervised probation
    • PRIME for Life Class
    • Installation of Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in vehicle

Second DUI offenses

With a second DUI conviction within a ten-year span, the penalties become more extreme:

  • Minimum sentence – everything included in a first time conviction, with the addition of:
    • Ten days (240 hours) of jail time (with a possibility of community service/house arrest with ankle monitor in lieu of jail time)
    • Up to $1,940 in fines
    • Evaluation and screening assessment
    • License suspension
    • Supervised probation
  • Maximum sentence – same as maximum penalties for first time conviction

Felony DUI consequences

A third drunk driving offense following two convictions within 10 years can be enhanced or upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony DUI. In addition, if your DUI resulted in the injury or death of another person or if you have been previously convicted of vehicular homicide at any time, the charge will be for felony DUI.

Felony DUI penalties are significantly more extreme than misdemeanor penalties, and include the following:

  • Minimum sentence
    • 62.5 days (1500 hours) of jail time
    • $2,775 in fines
    • Court-mandated substance abuse testing, assessment and counseling
    • Up to 240 hours of intensive treatment, which may include an inpatient program and/or aftercare
    • Supervised probation
    • License suspension
    • Screening and assessment
  • Maximum sentence – same penalties as above, with the following additions:
    • Up to five years in prison (not jail)
    • $9,250 in fines
    • 240 days to five years of intensive treatment

Don’t gamble with your future. Talk to a lawyer following a DUI charge.

If you have been charged with drunk or impaired driving in Utah, your best defense will come from an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney. For more information on how we can help, call Larsen, Larsen, Nash & Larsen at 801-758-8728 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Conveniently located in West Valley City, we represent clients throughout Salt Lake County and the surrounding areas of northern Utah, including Summit County and Davis County, Provo, Ogden and Park City.