In Utah, it is illegal for any one under 21 years old to operate, or be in “actual physical control” of, a motor vehicle if that individual has any alcohol present in his or her system. While technically a violation of Utah’s “Not a Drop” law is not a DUI, the consequences of a conviction under UCA § 53-3-231 are very similar to that of DUI. If convicted of violating the not a drop law, the driver will not only have his or her license suspended but also will be required to complete a substance abuse program and pay a fee to have his or her license reinstated. Additionally, since individuals under 21 years old are considered alcohol restricted drivers in Utah, an individual convicted of violating Utah’s not a drop law will also be in violation of UCA § 41-6a-530, a Class B Misdemeanor.
Under UCA 41-6a-505, if you are under 21 years old and have a blood alcohol concentration above .08, you will be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor. If you are found guilty of a Per Se DUI, the Court must sentence you to jail for a period not less than 48 consecutive hours (2 days) and not more that 180 days OR require that you preform a minimum of 48 hours community service. In addition to being sentenced to jail or community-service work, Utah law requires that you undergo a drug and alcohol screening/assessment and successfully completed Prime for Life or any required Substance Abuse Treatment. Lastly, the Court will order that you, as an ignition interlock restricted driver, install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle that you have access to for a period of three years.
Similarly to a DUI, an operator cited under the “Not a Drop” law must request an administrative hearing with the DLD within 10 days of receiving the citation. If, after the hearing, the DLD decides to take action against the driver’s license, the DLD will suspend the driver’s license, for a first offense violation, as follows : 1) for a period not less than 6 months if the driver is 19 to 20 years old; and 2) for a period not less than one year if the driver is under 19 years old. Additionally, the DLD will order that the driver must successfully complete the recommended substance abuse program and pay a reinstatement fee before the driver’s license will be reinstated.
In Utah, if you are arrested while driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) .08 and over, you will be charged with a “Per Se” DUI. The potential driver’s license suspension periods for driver’s under 21 years old with a BAC .08 or higher are considerably greater than the suspension periods for drivers over 21 years old with similar BAC. If the DLD takes administrative action against your driver’s license, the DLD will suspend the your driver’s license, for a first offense violation, as follows : 1) for a period not less than 6 months if the driver is 19 to 20 years old; and 2) for a period not less than TWO year if the driver is under 19 years old.
Given the incredibly lengthy suspension periods for under 21 “Per Se” DUIs and “Not a Drop” violations, hiring a DUI Defense lawyer to represent you at the DLD administrative hearing is essential if you desire to keep your driving privileges.
One of the main reasons to hire an experienced DUI Defense lawyer is to make sure that your rights and privileges are not unnecessarily infringe upon by the State. If you have completed the necessary requirements, a DUI Defense attorney can petition the Court to shorten the period of time that your driver’s license is suspended. In order to be eligible for a reduced suspension period, you must have completed the following tasks: 1) undergone an assessment; 2) successfully completed Prime for Life or any required Substance Abuse Treatment; 3) have not committed any traffic violation during the suspension period; and, 4) have complied with all of the terms of your probation. Additionally, you will have to provide the Court with an affidavit stating that you have not unlawfully consumed alcohol during the suspension period. If you have completed all of the necessary requirements, after 6 months (or 2 years if you are under 19 years old) the Court, upon a motion by your attorney, may order that your driving privileges be reinstated.