Can I be arrested for DUI if I have a doctor’s prescription?

If a person does not have normal use of their physical and/or mental faculties due to the introduction of alcohol, drugs or controlled substances in their system. This includes prescription medicines that may impair your driving.

What is the per se rule in Utah?

If a person’s blood alcohol level is or exceeds 0.08 as determined by a breath, blood or urine test the person is presumed to be impared.

What if I am under 21 does .o8 still apply?

The state of Utah has a zero tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. This means that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drive after consuming any amount of alcohol or drugs.

When Can I be Stopped by the Police?

If a person is stopped for a traaffic offense or a reasonable suspicion of drinking while driving, they are required to show their driver’s license and insurance information. In addition they may be asked to state where they are going or coming from.  Typically, a person may be asked if they have consumed any alcohol and if so, in what quantities.

What is a Field Sobriety Test?

The officer may then ask the driver to take a field sobriety test (FST). There are at least three standard field sobriety tests:

  1. The horizontal gaze nystagmus test (called HGN) where the officer looks for an involuntary jerking of the eye. The result of this test is purported to reveal whether the person is under the influence.
  2. The walk and turn test, where the person is asked to walk a straight line heel to toe for nine steps in two directions, and
  3. The one leg stand test where the person is asked to stand on one leg for thirty seconds.

Some officers will request the person submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) at the scene to determine the presence of alcohol in the person’s breath.

When can an Officer Arrest Me?

Officers make an arrest decision based on the FST as well as the observed driving pattern and facts learned from interviewing the detained person.

What if I Refuse to Take an Alcohol Test?

If the person is arrested, they will be asked to submit to a breath, blood or urine test at the jail. A refusal to submit can be used against the person in court as well as have negative drivers license consequences. A person who does submit to a breath or  blood test and is over the legal limit can also lose their license.

What evidence is required to be convicted of DUI?

DUI (Driving Under the Influence) first offense is a class B misdemeanor, in which a driver is considered intoxicated by law. This means that a person’s alcohol concentration is found to be 0.08 or higher, while having been under actual physical control of a motor vehicle, as tested through their breath, blood or urine. A person is also considered intoxicated if they have lost the normal use of their mental or physical abilities because of the introduction of drugs or alcohol into their body.

How Will a DUI Arrest Affect My Life?

When you are arrested, even before a conviction, your life will be affected. Your driver license will be confiscated by the arresting officer and you will be given a temporary driving permit that expires in 29 days. After 30 days, the Driver License Division may suspend your driving privileges (your license) for 120 days. You may request a hearing before the suspension by submitting a Hearing Request Form to the Driver License Division. At this hearing the arresting office will testify and you and your witnesses may also testify.

What Will Happen to My Vehicle?

Upon your arrest it is likely the car you were driving will be impounded.

How long will I Have to Stay in Jail?

You may bail out of jail if you are able to pay the bail or retain a bail bond.  If not you may remain in jail until you appear before the court.  If you are released you will be ordered to contact or appear in court within a certain time period.

What Are the Penalties for a conviction of DUI?

A first offense conviction of a DUI will usually result in at least the following penalties:

  • A minimum 48-hour jail sentence
  • Community service
  • A series of fines starting at $1300 plus court costs
  • The driver license suspension for three-month period
  • Treatment for alcohol or drug abuse
  • Additional counseling
  • Supervised or unsupervised probation
  • A possibility of a required installation of an “interlock” device on your car that checks your breath for alcohol before the ignition will operate.
  • An “alcohol restricted driver” driver license status for two years for first offense and for 10 years for a second offense.
  • Penalties are enhanced for subsequent convictions including the possibility of felony charges and prison term