Month: April 2016


Utah DUI Laws, Fines and Penalties

What are the penalties for a DUI in Utah?

1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
Jail 48 hours min. 240 hours min. 1,500 hours min.
Fines and Penalties $700 min. $800 min. $1,500 min.
License Suspension 120 days 2 years 2 years
IID** Required No Yes Yes

Lookback Period: 10 years (Period of time that prior DUIs are relevant for sentencing. Also known as a “washout” period.)

**Ignition Interlock Device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in Utah?

Under 21 .00% (zero tolerance)
21 or older .08%
Commercial .04%

** BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

You may want to try our BAC Calculator, however I wouldn’t let any results encourage you to drink and drive.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in Utah?

Utah has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more aboutUtah’s implied consent law.

1st Offense 2d Offense 3rd Offense
Refusal to take test 18 month license suspension 3 year license suspension 3 year license suspension

Disclaimer: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. For that reason, we recommended that you seek the advice of a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in your area.

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI in Utah?

In some circumstances, a plea bargain of “impaired driving” might be accepted by the prosecution in Utah. A “impaired driving ,” or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, is usually made as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. A plea bargain of wet reckless might occur when the amount of alcohol is borderline illegal, there was no accident, and the defendant has no prior record. But if there is a subsequent drunk driving conviction, the “impaired driving ” is usually considered a prior drunk driving conviction; the resulting sentence can be what’s required for a second DUI/DWI conviction. If you are interested in trying to make a plea for a impaired driving , you’ll need the help of a lawyer.

Drinking and Driving Laws in Utah

The State of Utah prohibits driving a motor vehicle with a .08 percent or above, blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The .08 percent limit is the standard used across the United States for the “impaired” driver. The State of Utah has lower BAC limits for commercial drivers (.04) and a Zero tolerance law for drivers under the age of 21. The Utah DUI law also prohibits driving under the influence of controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, inhalants and other intoxicants.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in Utah? Trying to figure out how many drinks it would take you to reach the .08 BAC limit isn’t a simple task. Each driver has individual attributes such as weight, sex, body-fat percentage, and other variables that factor into a BAC score. There are charts and calculators that can serve as a reference, however these tools do not consider all of the variables that contribute to a BAC score. It is safe to assume that each drink you consume puts you that much closer to becoming an intoxicated driver.

The best answer is not to drink and drive. The State of Utah has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in Utah, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.

The first time you are arrested and convicted of drunk driving in the State of Utah you will be placed in jail for no less than 48 hours. You will be fined no less than $700 and your drivers license will be revoked for no less than 120 days. The court may allow for community service work in lieu of jail time or you may be placed in an electronic monitoring program at your home. You will also be ordered to participate in a drug or alcohol screening program and potentially be ordered to participate in a educational series relating to drugs, alcohol or both. These services will all be paid for by the convicted driver.

The second time you are convicted of driving under the influence in Utah within 10 years of a previous offense you will be fined a minimum of $800. You will also receive a jail sentence of no less than 240 hours or 10 days. Your drivers license will also be suspended for a period of 2 years. The court will also order the convicted driver to 240 hours or 10 days of community service or you may be placed in an electronic monitoring program at your home. You will also be ordered to participate in a drug or alcohol screening program and potentially be ordered to participate in a educational series relating to drugs, alcohol or both. These services will all be paid for by the convicted driver.

The 3rd time you are convicted of drunk driving in the State of Utah you will be placed in jail for no less than 1,500 hours. You will be fined no less than $1,500 and your license will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year. You will also be ordered to obtain a screening and assessment at a substance abuse treatment program providing intensive care or inpatient treatment and long-term closely supervised follow through after treatment for not less than 240 hours. The court may also order more penalties including additional jail time, extended or permanent drivers license revocation and for the convicted driver to pay all fines and fees, including fees for restitution and treatment costs.


Utah threatens liquor permit of theater showing ‘Deadpool’

Utah alcohol bosses have filed a complaint and will consider revoking the liquor license of a movie theater it says violated a state obscenity law by serving drinks while screening “Deadpool,” which features simulated sex scenes.

The theater said the law is unconstitutional and has threatened to challenge it in court if the complaint isn’t dropped.

Rocky Anderson, an attorney for Brewvies in Salt Lake City, said Monday the law violates free-speech rights and is so broadly written that even a movie featuring Michelangelo’s nude “David” sculpture would be banned if alcohol was served at a screening.

Utah’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control filed the complaint against Brewvies after three undercover state officers attended a screening of “Deadpool” in February.

Investigators cited a state obscenity law that is generally used to regulate alcohol and nudity at strip clubs, which are required to have dancers wearing G-strings and pasties if the club serves liquor.

The law also bans the showing of any film with sex acts or simulated sex acts, full-frontal nudity or the “caressing” of breasts of buttocks. It only applies to businesses with liquor licenses, so most Utah movie theaters, which are alcohol free, are not cited under the law.

Brewvies, which has been open since 1997, only allows people 21 and older to attend movies and serves food and liquor to customers.

The DABC has scheduled a meeting in May to discuss or possibly settle the complaint before further disciplinary action.

The agency’s Vickie Ashby had no comment Monday and said she could not speak to the next steps in the disciplinary process. She directed questions to the attorney general’s office and State Bureau of Investigation, which ran the undercover investigation.

Dan Burton, a spokesman for the Utah attorney general’s office, declined to comment. The State Bureau of Investigation looked into the matter after the DABC sent it a compliant, according to Marissa Villasenor, a spokeswoman for Utah’s Department of Public Safety, which oversees the investigative bureau.

Anderson said he’ll challenge the law in court unless the complaint is dropped and Utah stops enforcing the obscenity law. Anderson said his client should also be repaid for a $1,627 fine the theater paid five years ago when it was cited under the same law for showing “The Hangover Part II.”

Anderson, who provided a copy of the investigative report to The Associated Press, said the fact that the film can be shown at other theaters nearby makes it clear Utah officials are using liquor laws to limit First Amendment rights of free speech.

Anderson said the Utah law is similar to an Idaho measure that lawmakers repealed this year after a theater sued after its liquor license was threatened for showing “Fifty Shades of Grey” while serving alcohol.


Federal judge declares Utah polygamy law unconstitutional

Utah’s anti-polygamy law is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled this week. State Attorney General Sean Reyes has already said that he plans to appeal the decision.

In December, U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups said that the state could keep the ban, but would not be allowed to arrest people who violate it by living together in common-law marriage situations. This week Waddoups followed that decision with a ruling that the state had violated the religious, free speech, and due process rights of the plaintiffs. The state also owes them court fees, said Waddoups.

The plaintiffs are Kody Brown, star of the TLC reality series Sister Wives, his legal wife Meri, and three other women — Janelle, Christine, and Robyn — who claim to be three other wives of Brown. The four have 17 children.

The Browns sued the state of Utah in 2011 after the show appeared on the air because their now-public lifestyle broke state law, and a county prosecutor threatened charges. They moved to Las Vegas that same year to avoid prosecution.

In a statement, the family’s lawyer said that the ruling was “historic,” and he believed “will stand the test of time.”

As LifeSiteNews reported last year, Waddoups’ decision may have significant consequences for decreasing equality in marriage and society at large, not increasing it. As Dr. Jennifer Morse of the Ruth Institute said, the December “ruling confuses the private desires of individuals with the institution of marriage as a whole.”

“I have no doubt that these individual women and Mr. Brown are living this plural marriage lifestyle voluntarily,” said Morse. “What I dispute is that they are the only ones affected by changing the law to permit plural cohabitation or plural marriage.”

“Polygamous societies look very different from monogamous societies,” she explained. “In polygamous societies, wealthy men are at a huge competitive advantage over men of average means. The wealthy men, in effect, take more than their share of women. This triggers a whole series of reactions. The society begins to sanction the marriage of younger and younger women, sometimes no more than girls, to satisfy the demand for brides. The men grow more and more possessive and treat women more like possessions and less like people.”