St George DUI Lawyer
Understanding Utah's DUI Laws
Utah's new DUI law lowered blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit from 0.08 to 0.05 percent in its newest law. The new law, which went into effect December 30, 2018, is the strictest criminal law in the nation and comes with a number of harsh penalties.
If you are pulled over for driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol in St George, there are some things you need to know. But first, be sure to call an experienced DUI attorney in Utah.
What to Do If You Are Arrested for DUI in Southern Utah
You are not required to answer any questions, or perform any field sobriety tests, like any eye tests or standing/walking tests. However, if you are arrested, you will be asked to submit to a “chemical test” which is a breath, blood, urine or saliva test, that you have “consented” to give in exchange for the privilege of driving on roads in the city of St George, whether you live here, or not.
You should always consent to giving that chemical sample, because refusal to do so results in an 18 month drivers license suspension – whether you live in the area, or not.
Probable Cause Search Warrant
And you have already been arrested, so obtaining a probable cause search warrant from a St George judge will only take about 20 minutes. So, if you are arrested, give the sample. However, if you have been arrested for driving intoxicated or have had your license suspended, you are not without options.
As your St. George DUI lawyer, I can help you combat the charges against you and work to reinstate your driving privileges.
Contact our St. George criminal defense attorney online or by phone at (435) 740-8460 for a free, confidential consultation. Your call will always be returned within 24 hours.
Is It Smart To Get A Lawyer For DUI?
Connecting with a DUI attorney in Utah as soon as possible after an arrest is crucial. Despite when your court date may be, it is typically essential to take immediate action to challenge the DMV's suspension of your license.
Is a DUI a Felony in Utah?
A DUI can be charged as both a felony and a misdemeanor in the state of Utah. It is crucial to have a Utah DUI lawyer on your side no matter the severity of your DUI charge.
In Fact, Most DUI Charges Are Misdemeanors and Only Escalate to Felony Charges When:
- A driver has been charged with their third DUI offense within 10 years
- A driver has a previously been charged with a felony DUI
- An individual other than the driver was seriously injured as a result of the alleged DUI
- The driver has been previously charged with vehicular homicide
According to the Utah Code § 41-6a-503 the penalties for a felony DUI charge are much more severe than a misdemeanor charge. Additionally, there are three degrees of severity for felony charges. If you are facing felony DUI charges it is important to contact an experienced St. George Felony DUI attorney from Edward D. Flint right away to begin working on your case.
Penalties for DUI in St George
Under Utah’s new law involving driving intoxicated, certain drivers could find themselves over the legal limit after just one drink. Your blood alcohol content, or BAC, depends on a number of factors aside from the amount of alcohol you have consumed, including your size, weight, metabolism, and food intake.
Furthermore, law enforcement officials are permitted by law to arrest you for intoxication if you are not in “actual physical control” of a vehicle. This means that you can get a DUI even if you are not actually driving. Something as seemingly minor as sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked vehicle with the keys in the ignition could result in a DUI.
First DUI Charge in St George
Mandatory 2 days in jail or 48 hours of community service with a maximum of 180 days in jail and minimum fines of $1,310 as well as a driver’s license suspension of 120 days.
All alcohol DUI convictions now require one year of Ignition Interlock Device on every car you drive. If BAC is at least 0.16 percent, mandatory ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for 3 years.
Second DUI Charge in St George
Mandatory 10 days in jail or 5 days in jail with 30 days of electronic monitoring (maximum of 180 days in jail); minimum fines of $1,560; driver’s license suspension of 2 years; and, if you have received at least 1 prior DUI conviction in the past 10 years, mandatory ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for 2 years
Third DUI Charge in St George
Mandatory 62.5 days in jail (if a prison sentence is not ordered) with a maximum of 5 years in prison; minimum fines of $2,850; driver’s license suspension of 2 years; and, if you have received at least 1 prior DUI conviction in the past 10 years, mandatory ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for 2 years
It is important to note that a third arrest or a current arrest charges with qualifying prior convictions of Impaired Driving or Alcohol Reckless Driving, or similar charges in other states, within a timeframe of 10 years will be prosecuted as a felony. If convicted, you will be sentenced to at least 62.5 days in jail. Additionally, Utah has what is known as the “not-a-drop” DUI law for minors.
Minor DUI Charges in Utah
If you are under the legal drinking age of 21, you may not operate a vehicle with any detectable trace of alcohol in your system. St George also enhances charges and penalties if you are charged with a DUI and have a person under age 16 in the car with you, or are involved in a collision.
Alcohol Restricted Driver (ARD)
It is important to note that under Utah law, if you refuse to submit to a BAC test or if you have been convicted, you will be on what is known as an alcohol restricted driving privilege.
You will not be allowed to drive with any level of alcohol in your system. If you violate the no alcohol restriction you will face a one-year revocation of your driving privilege.
ARD Penalty Breakdown:
- First-time offense for DUI – 2 years
- First Arrest for a Chemical Test Refusal – 5 years
- Second offense or second arrest for a chemical test refusal (within 10 years of the first offense) – 10 years
- Felony DUI or Vehicular Homicide – life
DUI With Death or Serious Bodily Injury
Under Utah Code §41-6a-502, it is illegal to operate or control a vehicle in the state if the driver has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 grams or higher, is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or is rendered incapable of safely driving due to the influence of drugs or alcohol. As defined by Utah Code §76-1-601, serious bodily injury involves permanent disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of bodily function, or a substantial risk of death.
Penalties for DUI with Death or Serious Bodily Injury in Utah
DUI with serious bodily injury is considered a third-degree felony under Utah Code §41-6-44, with possible prison terms of up to five years and fines reaching $5,000. If death is involved, the offender may be charged with a second-degree felony under Utah Code §76-5-207, which has a presumptive sentence of up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. In addition, the court may impose screening and assessment, 240+ hours of treatment, supervised probation, an ignition interlock system for three years, and a driving license suspension of up to 2 years for both scenarios.
Utah law considers DUI offenses involving serious bodily injury or death serious criminal offenses with substantial penalties upon conviction. It is important to abide by the state's laws on alcohol and drug driving to avoid the legal, social, and emotional consequences of a conviction on these charges.
DUIs in Southern Utah's State & National Parks
State and national parks throughout Southern Utah are an ideal place for boating and off-road vehicles such as Razors, ATVs, and dirt bikes. However, law enforcement officials will issue DUIs to individuals driving these types of off-road vehicle.
State and National Parks That Enforce Utah Drunk and Drugged Driving Laws:
- Lake Powell (Lake Powell National Recreation Area) (Federal Court)
- Zion National Park (Federal Court)
- Bryce Canyon National Park (Federal Court)
- Capital Reef National Park (Federal Court)
- Arches National Park (Federal Court)
- Canyonlands National Park (Federal Court)
- Sand Hollow State Park and Reservoir (State: St. George District or Hurricane Justice Court)
- Quail Hollow State Park and Reservoir (State, St. George District or Hurricane Justice)
- Snow Canyon State Park (State, St. George District or Washington County Justice)
Remember, if you break criminal laws in national parks, you will face federal charges since they are considered federally owned land. Federal crimes are punishable by a maximum federal prison sentence of six months, probation for up to five years, and/or fines of up to $5,000.
St. George DUI Attorney with 33 Years of Criminal Defense Experience
Regardless of your situation, it is crucial that you hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. It may be possible to have your driver’s license reinstated, but your attorney must act quickly. Additionally, the sooner your Utah DUI attorney can begin building a case on your behalf, the better.
I cover DUI and misdemeanor cases in justice courts throughout Southern Utah. If your case is in Santa Clara, Washington City, Hurricane, Cedar City, Beaver, Kanab or in Kane, Beaver, Iron or Washington County, Utah, I can provide you with the highest quality legal assistance.
For more than three decades, I have defended individuals accused of all types of serious crimes, throughout the state of Utah. I have personally handled more than 100 jury trials and have earned the respect of my fellow attorneys and local judges.
I understand that good people can end up in tough situations; my goal is to provide you with the empathetic, personalized legal guidance you need and the aggressive advocacy you deserve. Providing representation for DUI cases in Lake Powell, Gunlock Reservoir, Sand Hollow Reservoir, Quail Creek Reservoir, and Zion National Park.
For a free consultation, call our DUI attorney in St. George at (435) 740-8460. Payment plans are available.
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