According to a Utah Highway Patrol spokesperson, alcohol might have been a factor in a Carbon County rollover accident that left one person injured and another in police custody. The accident occurred close to mile marker 257 on U.S. 191 near Helper on the night of Jan. 3.
According to police, a New Mexico driver in a pickup failed to negotiate a curve and traveled off of the shoulder flipped over onto its roof and then came to rest back onto the roadway. The driver was taken into custody for allegedly having a blood alcohol content level of .099. He was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the car crash and suffered only minor injuries. A passenger suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released.
The state of Utah has strict DUI laws that impose severe penalties on individuals who have been convicted on drunk driving charges. Judges in Utah are required to follow mandatory sentencing guidelines, which means that a conviction will automatically result in certain penalties such as fines, jail time and alcohol education programs.
In this story, the driver who was charged with DUI is from another state, which means he might not be familiar with Utah DUI statutes. A Utah criminal defense attorney might be able to explain current DUI laws, including mandatory minimum sentences to someone facing drunk driving charges. Depending on the circumstances, it might be possible to plea to a lesser charge as part of a plea agreement. A defense attorney may work with the prosecution to make arrangements for a plea deal. Defendants also have the option to try for an acquittal in court.