A quick glance at the fines and penalties for DUI offenders in Utah and you may mistake it for one of the more lenient states in the country. That would be a mistake, though, as Utah has improved its legislation and has made a focused effort to deter and punish drinking and driving violators.
Utah DUI by the Numbers (based on 2012 overall numbers)
Few states have earned the Mothers Against Drunk Driving 5-star rating, but Utah is one of them. With a zero tolerance against under 21 drivers and mandatory ignition interlock device installation required for repeat offenders, the state has seen an impressive downward trend in DUI stats over the last decade.
- 6,061 total DUI arrests (72 from under-18 drivers)
- 34 total alcohol-related fatalities (2 from under-21 drivers)
- 56.1 percent decrease in alcohol-related fatalities
- 88.6 percent decrease in alcohol-related fatalities for under-21 drivers
- 78.9 percent of fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15+
- 100 percent of repeat offenders had a BAC of .15+
DUI First Offense Penalties in Utah
First time DUI offenders in Utah will actually see a bit of leniency on the low end of the penalties and fines, but maximums are left up to the discretion of the judge. For those well over the limit, they can expect to spend significant time in jail and pay very high fines. Below are the fines and penalties for a first time DUI offense as of this writing:
- Minimum of $700
- No mandatory IID required
- Minimum 48-hour jail sentence
- Mandatory license suspension of 120 days
Utah is an implied consent state with much longer penalties in place for refusing to take the chemical tests. First time offenders will receive an 18-month license suspension with repeat offenders receiving a three-year suspension.
Utah has a 10-year washout period for repeat offenders.
Should You Hire a DUI Attorney if Arrested and Charged in Utah?
Looking at only the minimum fines and penalties and thinking you can beat your DUI case on your own is a mistake. After all, Utah did not get a 5-star rating from MADD for no reason. The fact is, the state treats DUI cases very harshly, especially cases that exceed the minimum limits. If you are arrested and charged in Utah for a DUI, the best decision you can make is to fill out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form to get the answers you need.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.