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First DUI Arrest

An arrest for a DUI can be an extremely confusing and traumatic experience, especially if it's the first offense. First: Don't panic. An arrest for DUI does not mean that a conviction will follow. There are many defenses and tactics that an experienced criminal attorney can use to fight for a dismissal or reduced penalties. This website contains information to help you better understand the process, but it is no substitute for an attorney-client relationship or experienced guidance.

Salt Lake City Defense Attorney for First DUI Offenders

As a Salt Lake City DUI attorney, Darren M. Levitt defends men, women, and youth who are first time DUI offenders. He understands the severity of the unintended DUI consequences, including affects on employment opportunities and professional licenses. His knowledge and experience can be an asset as you fight to avoid the charges and consequences that may come with a DUI offense. Levitt Legal, founded by Darren M. Levitt, represents clients throughout Salt Lake County, Tooele County, Summit County, and the surrounding communities.

To learn more about your legal defense options after a first DUI arrest, call 801-455-1743 or send an online message. Darren M. Levitt will help you understand the charges you face and the benefits of available strategies. His attention-to-detail can also help reveal any constitutional rights violations, investigation errors, and lack of probable cause to pull the vehicle over. This information can be used to build a solid defense strategy and fight for your future.


First DUI Information Center


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First DUI In Utah

Utah Code § 41-6a-502 describes driving under the influence of alcohol with a specified unsafe blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This statute also includes the use of drugs (controlled substances and prescription drugs) while driving. It is unlawful for a person to operate or otherwise be in actual physical control of a vehicle in Utah if the person:

  • Is shown to have a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 grams or greater after a chemical test;
  • Is under the influence of drugs and / or alcohol, which makes the person incapable of operating a vehicle safely; or
  • Has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 grams or greater at the time of operation or actual physical control of a vehicle.

Blood alcohol concentration is determined by grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. Breath alcohol concentration is determined by alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

UPDATE: Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed HB 155 into law changing the legal blood alcohol level from 0.08 to 0.05. The bill will take effect December 30, 2018.


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Utah First DUI Penalties

Utah Code § 41-6a-503 defines the penalties for first time DUI offenders. This can be either a class B misdemeanor or Class A misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances of the offense. There are certain factors that can increase the penalties, such as:

  • If the person also caused bodily injury to another person as a result of driving under the influence;
  • If the person had a passenger under 16 years old in the vehicle during the DUI offense;
  • If the person was 21 years or older and had a passenger under 18 years old in the vehicle during the offense.

However, the DUI offense can be escalated to a felony in the 3rd degree if:

  • The person caused seriously bodily harm on another person as a result of operating the vehicle in a negligent manner;
  • The person committed automobile homicide during the DUI offense.

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Sentencing for a 1st DUI in Utah

For a first DUI conviction, under Utah Code § 41-6a-505, the court may order one or more of the following:

  • A jail sentence of 48 consecutive hours or more; or
  • 48 hours or more of community service; or
  • Home confinement with electronic monitoring;
  • Participation in a screening;
    • If found appropriate, also order participation in an assessment; and
    • Order participation in educational series if the court does not order substance abuse treatment.
  • A fine of $700 or more;
  • Probation (if there is evidence that the person had a blood alcohol level of .16 or higher);
  • Substance abuse treatment program (if deemed appropriate);
  • Ignition Interlock Device.

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Available Defenses to DUI in Utah

As defined in Utah Code § 41-6a-517, there several defenses that are available for individuals charged with DUI. This includes:

  • If a person involuntarily ingested a controlled substance;
  • If a person was prescribed a drug by a practitioner;
  • Legally ingested a controlled substance.

However, it is not an acceptable defense that the defendant is or was legally entitled to use the drug or alcohol in question.


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Driver's License Suspension after a First DUI

Utah's Driver License Division is responsible for suspending or revoking a driver's license after conviction. Even individuals convicted of a 1st DUI can also face this prospect. A first DUI can bring with it a driver's license suspension of 120 days. This period can be longer if the individual faced enhanced penalties. Individuals under the age of 21 face 120 days of driver's license suspension or suspension until he or she turns 21, whichever is longer. He or she will also be denied the application for a driver's permit if one is not already owned.

The court is obligated to notify the Driver License Division if the person does not complete the terms of their sentence, preventing that person from obtaining their driver's license again. The Driver License Division is also obligated to notify the person of their right to request a hearing on the status of their driver's license within 10 days from initial arrest. Learn more about Driver's License Suspension Hearings.


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Utah First DUI Resources

Driving Under the Influence: The $9,000 Drink – Compiled by Utah's Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, the briefing explores the state's policy on drunk driving. It also contains statistics and analysis to gauge the effectiveness of prior and current Utah DUI policy.


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Levitt Legal, PLLC | Salt Lake City 1st DUI Arrest Attorney

To learn more about your legal options, contact Salt Lake City defense attorney Darren M. Levitt. Call 801-455-1743 for a free consultation. Levitt Legal is ready to help you every step of the way, including emergency bail bonds, driver's license suspension hearings, criminal record expungement, and other related matters. With what you stand to potentially lose with a DUI conviction, it's important to make sure that you're doing everything possible to secure a favorable outcome.

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)

801-355-8658 (fax)

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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