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Salt Lake City DUI Defense

Drunk Driving / DUI Charges

Salt Lake City DUI Defense

A charge for DUI (Driving under the Influence) in Salt Lake City is never one to take lightly. In addition to expensive fines and imprisonment, it can have serious repercussions on future employment, housing, and higher education prospects. It's important to carefully consider your legal options and ensure that you're doing everything possible to prevent the DUI from affecting your future.

There are multiple aspects of a DUI that should be considered before mounting a legal defense. Remember, every DUI charge is unique since no set of circumstances or individual history is the same. Levitt Legal has provided information to help you to better understand this process as it applies to your case. The various types of DUI and DUI factors in Utah are:

The information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. If you have been charged with a DUI in Salt Lake City or any of the surrounding communities, it may be in your best interests to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. They understand that a charge for DUI does not automatically lead to a conviction. A DUI attorney will fight for dismissed charges or other options that will provide you with the best outcome.

Salt Lake City DUI Attorney

Levitt Legal is dedicated to defending the rights of men, women, and minors who are facing Salt Lake City DUI charges. Darren Levitt is an experienced criminal defense attorney based in Salt Lake City, Utah. He carefully analyzes his clients' unique situations, finding details that can help them best protect their futures against unlawful DUI arrests, improper investigations, and other situations where civil liberties were infringed.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Salt Lake County, Box Elder County, Cache County, Weber County, or the surrounding communities, contact Levitt Legal today. During your free, no-obligation consultation, Darren will help you understand your legal options and work on building a solid defense. Call (801) 455-1743 to speak with an experienced Salt Lake City DUI attorney.


DUI Information Center


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How are DUI Arrests Made?

An arrest for DUI can be made by the Salt Lake Sheriff's Office, the Salt Lake City Police Department, or the Utah Highway Patrol. In order to be arrested for DUI, the officer must allege that the person either operated a motor vehicle or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. The officer can make an arrest without obtaining a warrant if the officer has probable cause that the driver was incapable of safely operating a vehicle due to alcohol or drug intoxication.


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Types of Utah DUI Offenses

Utah's DUI laws can be found in Utah Code §41-6a-501 through §41-6a-530. Under this law, the criminal offense of DUI can be charged under any of the following circumstances:

  • Per Se DUI - If you are accused of operating a motor vehicle with a breath or blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08 or higher.
  • Impaired Driving DUI - If you are accused of operating a motor vehicle and any amount of alcohol or drugs have impaired your ability to safely operate the vehicle.
  • Drugged DUI (DUID) - If you are accused of having any measurable amount of a controlled substance or metabolite of a controlled substance in their system.
  • Zero Tolerance DUI - If you are under the age of 21 and have consumed any alcohol.

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DUI Penalties and Penalties under Utah Law

Possible penalties and punishments for a DUI conviction can be found in Utah Code §41-6a-503 and §41-6a-509. Consider the fact that for even a first DUI conviction, the penalties if you are convicted of DUI can include the following punishments and penalties:

  • At least two days in jail;
  • At least 48 hours of community service;
  • At least $700 in fines and fees; and
  • At least 90 days suspension of driver's license.

A first or second time DUI offense can be charged as a class A or B misdemeanor, depending on whether another person was injured or whether any minors were passengers in the motor vehicle.

For a second or subsequent DUI conviction, Utah's statutory scheme provides for more serious penalties and punishments. Third degree felonies include individuals who inflicted serious bodily injury on another person as a result of drunk driving and negligence. Each victim injured seriously constitutes a separate offense, whether or not the injuries arose from the same drunken driving period. This degree of felony also includes individuals who have two or more criminal convictions within the past 10 years.


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Actual Physical Control Provisions of Utah's DUI Laws

Most people think that DUI requires the individual to be caught driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, in certain cases, the individual can be charged with DUI merely because his or she is sleeping it off in a parking lot. The prosecutor is not necessarily required to prove that the person drove the vehicle to that location, although these cases depend heavily on the particular facts of the case.

Under Utah law, if the individual is in the driver's seat behind the driver's seat with possession of the ignition key and with the apparent ability to start and move the vehicle, then at trial the jury could be asked to return guilty verdict because there has been an adequate showing of "actual physical control." If the prosecutor is unable to make an adequate showing, then the criminal defense attorney may be able to file a motion to dismiss prior to trial.

Many important defenses apply to the DUI involving "actual physical control" or "drunk parking." For instance, the actual physical control provisions of Utah's laws may not apply if the vehicle was immobile because of mechanical trouble. See Garcia v. Schwendiman, 645 P.2d 651 (1982).


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Forced Blood Draws in DUI Cases

Under Utah's Rules of Criminal Procedure, R40, in certain cases the law enforcement officer can request a warrant from an on-call judge. If the warrant is issued, then the law enforcement officer might be permitted to draw blood by force under certain circumstances.


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Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver (IRD)

Under Utah Code Section 41-6a-518.2, the driver is required to install the ignition interlock system if ordered by the Court, Board of Pardons and Parole or by Utah's statutory scheme. The driver must pay all costs related to the ignition interlock device and the records are maintained in an electronic database.

The length of time that the Ignition Interlock Restriction is required depends on the type of offense and whether any prior offenses exist. General guidelines include:

  • For a first DUI offense, the driver in Utah must install the ignition interlock device for 18 months.
  • For a second DUI offense, the driver in Utah must install the ignition interlock device for 3 years (or 36 months).
  • For a violation of the ignition interlock restriction, the driver must install the device for three years.
  • For a refusal to submit to chemical testing of the breath, blood or urine, the driver must install the ignition interlock device for three years.
  • For any driver under 21 convicted of DUI, the driver must install the ignition interlock device for three years.
  • For any felony DUI, the driver must install the ignition interlock device for a period of 6 years.
  • For any auto homicide offense, the driver must install the ignition interlock device for a period of 10 years.

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Under 21 Zero Tolerance DUI Laws

Under Utah's 32A-12-209, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume any alcoholic beverage. Additionally, it is illegal for the person under 21 to have any measurable amount of an alcoholic beverage in their system. A driver license suspension or denial can occur in connection with any violation of the underage DUI laws.


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Consequences of a First Time DUI

Under Utah Code Section 41-6a-506-509, the following types of penalties can be imposed for a misdemeanor DUI offense:

  • Jail, compensatory service (not less than 48 consecutive hours)
  • Community service (not less than 48 hours)
  • Assessment and screening
  • Probation (if there is admissible evidence that the blood alcohol level was .16 or higher)
  • Substance abuse treatment or an educational series
  • Alcohol and ignition interlock restrictions
  • Fine (not less than $700)
  • Driver license suspension (120 days)

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Consequences of a Second DUI

If an individual has been convicted of a DUI charge within 10 years of the current offense, they face stricter penalties. This may include:

  • Prison or jail (not less than 240 consecutive hours)
  • Community service (not less than 240 hours)
  • Electronic home confinement
  • Assessment and screening
  • Substance abuse treatment or an educational series
  • Probation;
  • Ignition interlock restrictions
  • Fine (not less than $800)
  • Driver license suspension (2 years)

If the court does not order a prison sentence and instead chooses probation, the penalties differ. They will then include:

  • Fine (not less than $1500)
  • Jail (not less than 1500 hours)
  • Supervised probation
  • Assessment and screening
  • Substance abuse treatment with intensive care or inpatient treatment (not less than 240 hours)
  • Electronic home confinement
  • Ignition interlock restrictions

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Consequences of a DUI on the Driver's License

Under Utah Code Section 41-6a-509 and 53-3-223, two different types of driver license suspensions can be imposed.

  • Administrative Driver License Suspension After a DUI Arrest

Under the administrative driver's license suspension, the arresting officer takes the driver's license when the arrest occurs. The arresting officer then gives the person arrested for DUI a 29 day temporary license. During that time period, the driver must request a hearing in order to contest the administrative suspension. The burden of proof is whether or not the arresting officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person arrested violated Utah's DUI laws.

  • Court Ordered Driver License Suspension After a DUI Conviction

Additionally, if the individual is convicted of DUI, then the court can impose a driver's license suspension and the time served for the administrative suspension generally counts towards that court ordered suspension.


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Utah's Alcohol Restricted Driver (ARD)

As of July 1, 2005, the "Alcohol Restricted Driver Law" enacted by Utah's legislature became effective. When the restriction is in place, the driver must not drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system as provided in Utah Code Section 41-6a-529.

The Alcohol Restricted status is shown on the driving record. The driver is also notified of the restriction by mail. The driver is no longer required to appear at the Utah Department of Public Safety and obtain a new license to reflect the restriction. Additionally, the driver is not required to appear that the UDPS to have the restriction removed.

Law enforcement officers have computer access to these records in order to determine whether the Alcohol Restricted Driver status exists. If the law enforcement officer makes contact with a driver who has alcohol in their system and is ‘Alcohol Restricted’ then the officer will issue a citation for a criminal offense.

Any driver who is convicted of violating the Alcohol Restricted Driver law will have their driving privilege revoked for a period of one year from the conviction date. An additional three (3) year Alcohol Restriction (ARD) will be added to the driving record.

Under Utah law, the following criminal offenses will cause a driver to be put into the Alcohol Restricted Driver status:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI) under Utah's Criminal Code Section 41-6a-502;
  • DUI Per Se under Utah's Criminal Code Section 53-3-223;
  • Refusal to submit to a chemical test after a DUI arrest under Utah's Criminal Code Section 41-6a-520;
  • Alcohol-related reckless driving under Utah's Criminal Code Section 41-6a-528;
  • Impaired driving under Utah's Criminal Code Section 41-6a-502.5;
  • Automobile homicide under Utah's Criminal Code Section 76-5-207;
  • Alcohol restricted driver violation under Utah's Criminal Code Section 41-6a-530;
  • Ignition interlock violation under Utah's Criminal Code Section 41-6a-518.2.

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Time Periods for Utah's ARD Status

  • A first DUI or impaired driving offense triggers Utah's two year alcohol restricted driver (ARD) status.
  • A first DUI offense with bodily injury, a passenger under the age of 16 or a passenger under the age of 19 if the driver is 21 years old or older triggers Utah's five year alcohol restricted driver (ARD) status.
  • A second DUI or impaired driver offense within 10 years triggers Utah's 10 year alcohol restricted driver (ARD) status.
  • A felony DUI triggers Utah's life time alcohol restricted driver (ARD) status.
  • A violation of the alcohol or ignition interlock restriction triggers Utah's alcohol restricted driver (ARD) status for an additional three years.
  • A refusal to submit to chemical testing after a DUI arrest triggers Utah's alcohol restricted driver (ARD) status for five years.
  • If the driver is under the age of 21 then Utah's alcohol restricted driver (ARD) status is triggered until the driver turns 21 years old.

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Salt Lake City DUI Resources

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Utah – MADD Utah is a non-profit organization made up of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, other family and friends. They are united to prevent drunk driving, comfort the victims and family of drunk driving, and eliminate underage drunk driving.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Utah – Alcoholics Anonymous is a non-profit dedicated to helping men and women overcome their alcohol dependencies. The model of each meeting is member driven. Members share their stories and sponsors (former alcoholics) provide additional guidance for each member. AA is based on a 12 step program in which members grow from denial to acceptance and eventual recovery.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Utah – In the same way that AA assists alcoholics through recovery, Narcotics Anonymous helps men and women experiencing drug addiction. NA is run by members, for members. During each meeting, members share their experiences with drug dependency and progress towards overcoming their addictions.

Utah Motor Vehicle Code – This website contains Utah's current laws related to motor vehicles, including violations and the penalties for each offense.


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Levitt Legal, PLLC | Salt Lake City DUI Lawyer

Given the severe consequences and lifelong repercussions of even a first time DUI offense, it's important to discuss your options with an experienced DUI lawyer. Levitt Legal is ready to help you understand the charges you face and form a solid proactive plan of action to defend your future. Call (801) 455-1743 or send an online message to speak with Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney Darren Levitt during a free, no-obligation consultation.

Levitt Legal - Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah
266 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
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801-455-1743 (phone)

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The information provided on this site is for general information purposes only. The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your own individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Use of this website or submission of an online form, does not create an attorney-client relationship.

The hiring of a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements, informational videos, a blog, or an internet website. Before you decide which attorney to hire for your case, ask us to send you free additional written information about our qualifications and experience.
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