As I am sure you already know, Utah changed its driving under the influence laws to be impaired at 0.05% rather than 0.08%, which is what it used to be. But do you know the penalties in Utah for driving under the influence? According to www.sltrib.com first-timers in Utah, the maximum penalty is a fine of $1,370 and a three-month license suspension. The statute also states a minimum of 48 hours of jail time, although some judges allow community service instead. For a second DUI offense, the maximum penalty is 10 days in jail, a $1,560 fine, and a six-month license suspension. The penalties go up on a third offense to 62 days in jail, a $2,850 fine, and a six-month suspension.
The National Transportation Safety Board supports a 0.05 limit, noting that numerous studies show impairment starts after one alcoholic drink and that motorists are noticeably impaired at 0.04 — the BAC limit for commercial truck drivers. However, this was met with controversy by the American Beverage Institute. In fact, shortly after the Utah law passed, the American Beverage Institute waged an advertising war against the state, placing full-page ads in newspapers under the headline: “ Utah: Come for Vacation, Leave on Probation.”
No matter what your position is with regard to Utah’s 0.05% limit, the law stands.
The specific Utah Code which applies to the penalties for driving under the influence is
41-6a-503. Penalties for driving under the influence violations.
|(1)||A person who violates for the first or second time Section 41-6a-502 is guilty of a:
|(2)||A person who violates Section 41-6a-502 is guilty of a third-degree felony if:
|(3)||A person is guilty of a separate offense for each victim suffering bodily injury or serious bodily injury as a result of the person’s violation of Section 41-6a-502 or death as a result of the person’s violation of Section 76-5-207 whether or not the injuries arise from the same episode of driving.|
During the first three months of 2019 — with the new law in place — 135 motorists were arrested for drunken driving with a blood-alcohol level between a 0.05 and 0.079, according to quarterly data released by the Utah Highway Patrol.
Let’s all be aware of Utah’s laws and ensure everyone’s safety on the roads.