Utah has a zero tolerance policy for drunk driving under the legal drinking age. This “not a drop” law means that if you are driving and younger than the age of 21 and register as having any measurable blood alcohol content at all, you can be convicted of driving under the influence. The minimum BAC for those older than 21 years old is .08 percent, or .04 percent for commercial drivers. Another feature of Utah’s DUI law is that you can be arrested for DUI even if you are not currently driving the car but have the potential to do so, such as if you are sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car.
If police officers have probable cause to suspect you of driving under the influence, they have the legal right to administer a chemical test of your breath, urine, saliva or blood. The choice of test is up to the police officer. Because Utah has an implied consent law, if you refuse the test, you can be subject to penalties.
The first time you refuse a BAC test, your driver’s license will be revoked for 18 months. Upon your second and subsequent refusals, you’ll suffer a three-year suspension of your license. Other penalties may also be inflicted depending on your DUI history. For example, you may be subject to a zero percent BAC minimum while driving for the next 10 years or have an ignition interlock device installed in your car for the next three years.
Penalties for DUI Convictions
For a first DUI conviction, you will serve a minimum of two days either in jail or in a work service program. You may also be subject to a minimum $700 fine and a minimum 120-day suspension of your driver’s license.
A second DUI conviction within 10 years of the first carries a 10-day minimum in jail or a work service program, a minimum $800 fine, a two-year suspension of your license and three years with an ignition interlock device.
For either a first or second DUI conviction, you may also be subject to home confinement or required to participate in substance abuse education or treatment.
Your third DUI conviction within 10 years of the first is an automatic felony. Such a conviction carries a jail sentence of at least 62 days and as many as five years. You would also be subject to a minimum fine of $1,500 and up to a three-year suspension of your driver’s license. Additionally, an ignition interlock device could be installed on your vehicle for a three-year period, and you would have to undergo substance abuse treatment and education. Finally, you could be subjected to supervised probation following the completion of your jail sentence.
Proposed Changes to Utah DUI Laws
Proposals have been made to cut the legal BAC limit down from .08 percent to .05 percent. However, the limit remains at .08 percent.
What Is The Legal Alcohol Limit In Utah?
Utah law enforcement vigorously enforces impaired driving law by prosecuting people for driving under the influence (DUI). People are determined to be under the influence by means of a chemical test (usually of a person’s breath) to determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
A person may be charged with DUI in Utah if a BAC is at .08 percent or higher. This is the standard applied under impaired driving laws throughout the U.S. In addition to this standard legal alcohol limit for passenger motorists of legal drinking age, additional restrictions apply to other types of drivers. These include:
- People who are under age 21 may be prosecuted on alcohol-related driving offenses with a BAC of .00 percent – in other words, with any measureable alcohol amount
- Operators of commercial vehicles – such as buses, taxis, courier vehicles and semi-trucks – may be arrested and charged for impaired driving with a BAC of .04 percent or higher
Regardless of the type of driver, the potential penalties for impaired driving are very serious and may include fines, jail time, license suspension and mandatory attendance in alcohol education courses.
Ignition Interlock Requirements In Utah
An additional penalty can be imposed on people convicted of DUI offenses; individuals may have to install an ignition interlock device (IID). This equipment requires a person to pass a breath test before a vehicle will start.
Ignition interlock device installation may be required of people who:
- Are convicted of any type of DUI conviction
- Refuse to take a chemical test if law enforcement suspects impairment
- Are involved in accidents involving the death of another person
Affected individuals must install and maintain IIDs at their own expense. The device must come from a service provider authorized by the state to install equipment.