DUI First Offense Salt Lake City Utah
Even if you don't have a prior criminal record, being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Salt Lake City has the potential to substantially impact your life. Individuals convicted of drunk driving often have a more difficult time landing jobs, applying for professional licenses, and even traveling outside of the United States. That's why it's so important to contact an attorney who can help fight your charges, even if this is only your first Utah DUI offense.
DUI First Offense Punishment
Under Utah law, judges must abide by the state's predetermined mandatory minimum sentence when deciding the punishment for a criminal offense. This means that the judge cannot go any lower than minimum, although he or she could recommend a more severe punishment. Because of this, even first-time DUI offenders can end up spending time behind bars.
For a first drunk-driving conviction, there will be a mandatory minimum of 48 hours spent either in jail, in home confinement, or performing work service. The judge may also order you to obtain an alcohol or drug screening and assessment to determine if substance abuse education and/or treatment is necessary.
Other court penalties for a first DUI offense include a 120-day driver's license penalty and a minimum of $700 in fines.
First Breathalyzer Refusal
Utah's Implied Consent law states that any person operating a vehicle on the state's roadways automatically implies their consent to take a breathalyzer or blood test if suspected of drinking and driving. Refusing to take the test will not only still result in a DUI arrest, but offenders are subject to harsher license penalties than those who take the breathalyzer and test over the legal blood alcohol limit.
After a drunk-driving arrest, you have only 10 days to appeal the administrative license suspension imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This license suspension will occur even if you haven't gone to court to face your criminal charges. Unfortunately, those who violated the Implied Consent statute will lose their license for 18 months (as opposed to the standard 120-day suspension) for a first offense, so it's important to immediately contact a DUI defense attorney if this applies to your situation.
Don't Face a DUI Charge on Your Own
With so much to lose, it makes more sense to at least speak with a DUI defense attorney regarding your options rather than to simply plead guilty to your charge. We have a number of clients avoid a permanent criminal record thanks to our aggressive defense.