These days, being convicted of a DUI in Utah involves a great deal more than simply taking a hit to your driving record and reputation. If you’re not paying attention, the punishments surrounding a DUI conviction will not only affect your criminal record, but also your ability to legally drive.
You Can Lose Your License
In addition to taking a hit to your record, a DUI conviction also puts you at risk to lose your driving privileges. When the arresting officer officially determines a driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) to be above the legal limit of 0.08%, he or she is required to take the driver’s license, and issue a temporary driving certificate, good for only 29 days following the arrest. The arresting officer must also provide the driver with basic information regarding how to file a hearing with the Utah State Driver License Division.
If the person convicted of a DUI does NOT schedule a hearing with the Driver License Division within 10 calendar days of the arrest, one of the following outcomes will occur:
- First-Time Convictions: For a first-time conviction, the Driver License Division is legally required to suspend the driver’s license for a period of at least 90 days.
- Subsequent Offenses: For subsequent offenses (meaning there are additional DUI convictions within 10 years of a previous violation), the Driver License Division must revoke the driver’s license for a period of one year.
- Additional Penalties: Depending on the circumstances of the arrest, a court may order additional penalties as part of a DUI conviction, including an extended period of suspension or revocation up to two years.
You Must Schedule a Hearing
Filing a prompt hearing with the Utah State Driver License Division is crucial for those wanting to preserve their driving privileges. Once the offender has scheduled the hearing before the 10-day window closes, the hearing shall be held within 29 days after the date of the arrest. During the division hearing, the following issues will be discussed and documented:
- Whether the arresting officer had reasonable grounds to believe the person was driving under the influence
- Whether the person refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test
- The test results themselves (if any)
- Results of any field sobriety tests conducted prior to the arrest
The Driver License Division may also bring in relevant witnesses, including the arresting officer to testify at the hearing. If, after the hearing, the Division finds the officer was justified in submitting the person to a blood-alcohol test, and the evidence and testimony suggest the person was driving under the influence, the person will be subject to losing his or her driving privileges for up to two years, depending on whether this was a repeat offense or not.
You Need a Lawyer
An unsuccessful hearing at the Driver License Division can have a devastating impact on your driving future. For this reason, it is important to have an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney working your both your division hearing and your criminal hearing for your DUI case. An experienced attorney can analyze the facts of your case, discover weaknesses in the prosecution, and help you determine the most favorable path as you proceed through the legal system. Above all, your chances of keeping your driving privileges are significantly improved by working with a trusted defense attorney.
For more information on the State of Utah’s most recent DUI legislation, you can click here, or call us here at Anderson & Rogers for a free case review with an experienced DUI attorney: 801-768-7070!