24/7 Program: Less jail, more driving.

Until the Legislature agreed to make the once experimental 24/7 program available statewide, and the initial bugs were worked out, you could expect to not be allowed to drive, at all, no exceptions, for 120 days on a first offense, TWO YEARS on a second offense, and THREE YEARS on a Felony third offense within 10 years.

Jail is mandatory on all DUIs in Utah, but we can get around it on a first offense with just alcohol and below the “extreme” level of 0.16 breath or blood concentration. But on a felony offense, it is a mandatory 60 days of jail followed by 60 more days of home confinement on an expensive ankle monitor, and if your alcohol level was over 0.16 or you had two or more substances contributing to your impairment, the MANDATORY jail time increases to 120 days of jail and 120 days of home confinement, or the judge could send you to prison for up to FIVE YEARS, and the Board of Pardons and Parole will decide when you get paroled (usually at least 9 to 18 months).

The 24/7 program requires you install an Ignition Interlock device (IIL) on all cars in your name or that you drive, that you wear a SCRAM monitor which detects alcohol in your system and pay for that monitor and some regular testing to prove you are not using any alcohol, you become an alcohol restricted driver and have to keep the IIL, and the SCRAM monitor costs about $450 a month, you will have it for between four and 12 months, but….

YOU CAN DRIVE, and the judge can reduce your jail and home confinement sentence to much less than the mandatory, and in some circumstances, eliminate the jail and home confinement completely!

So, when I have a client who still ends up on felony probation for a third DUI, but is doing great in treatment and staying sober, they end up with a big smile when they go to jail for a couple of weeks and then can drive and keep their jobs, as opposed to months in jail, months of expensive home confinement, and no driving for several years.

I can also tell you that our Legislature would never have considered the 24/7 program but for the zealous advocacy of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the early success of the program in Davis County.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Utah, call an attorney immediately, do not wait, your future depends on you doing it right.

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