Merely being charged with DUI in Utah can cause upheaval in your life. The Utah Department of Motor Vehicles, surprisingly, begins to impose sanctions on drivers charged with driving under the influence in Utah even before a conviction occurs.
Driver’s License Suspension
Loss of license is one of the immediate penalties drivers charged with DUI in Utah will face. Specifically:
- The police will confiscate a driver’s license at the time of the arrest and replace it with a 30 day temporary license
- The DMV suspends a driver’s license (for the first DUI) for 120 days after the temporary license is issued
- The DMV suspends a driver’s license (for successive DUIs) for the first two years after the temporary license is issued
The timelines for license suspension are different if a driver is under age 21:
- Authorities will issue a license suspension for 120 days or until you turn 21 – whichever is longer for a first DUI charge
- Authorities will issue a license suspension for two years or until you turn 21 – whichever is longer for subsequent DUI charges
Drivers in Utah have the right to appeal a driver’s license suspension. However, the burden of proof on the DMV to suspend a license for DUI is lower than that needed to convict a driver of DUI in court.
To replace a driver’s license after suspension in Utah, a driver must:
- Pay a $65 reinstatement fee
- Pay the regular $25 license fees for a renewal of a Utah license for drivers over 21
- Take any applicable examinations
- Pay an additional $170 administrative fee
By law, police must impound the vehicles of those arrested for suspicion of DUI in Utah. To retrieve a vehicle after impoundment, the registered owner of the vehicle must go to the DMV with:
- A picture ID
- A copy of the TC-540 Vehicle Impound Report from the police
- Proof of proper vehicle registration
The registered owner is also required to pay a $330 impound fee before claiming the vehicle even if he or she was not the one arrested for DUI. The DMV will then issue a letter of release, allowing the owner to claim the car from the impound lot. If the owner does not claim the car within 30 days, DMV will take legal steps to sell it.
Alcohol-Restricted Driver Status
Drivers convicted of DUI in Utah are also put on Alcohol Restricted Driver status. This means that drivers cannot drive with any alcohol in their system; even if they blow under the legal limit. The restriction lasts for two years after a driver’s first DUI, increasing to 15 years for a second DUI within 15 years. The restriction period begins on the conviction date for DUI and continues after the DMV reinstates a driver’s license from DUI suspension.
Ignition Interlock Restricted Status
Ignition Interlock Restricted Status is another immediate penalty drivers charged with DUI in Utah will face. This means that a person cannot drive any vehicle without an Ignition Interlock device installed. The time period for this restriction is:
- Eighteen months for conviction of a first DUI if a driver is over 21
- Three years for conviction of a first DUI if a driver is under 21
The Help of an Attorney
The penalties for DUI in Utah are severe. It’s important to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible if you have been arrested and are facing DUI charges.