Showing posts with label DUI In Utah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DUI In Utah. Show all posts

With such a severe and punitive stance on driving under the influence (DUI) offenses in Utah, it is of paramount importance that you understand the laws concerning this so that you know what to expect if ever pulled over by law enforcement. Knowing your rights is particularly important when it there is a case of an alleged drug DUI.
A drug DUI is different from a regular DUI both by the fact that drugs are more difficult to detect through traditional means (such as a breathalyzer), and that law enforcement needs to use subjective judgments to decide whether or not you are under the influence.
Further complicating this process is that you are required to submit to chemical testing after the arrest, which has the potential to incriminate even though you may have been fine to drive. Many substances stay in your system days or weeks after ingesting them, leading to positive results even though you may not have been truly impaired at the time of arrest. No matter what the case, it is vital that you know what to do if ever presented with this complex and difficult situation.
Drug DUI under Utah Law
Under Utah Criminal Code 41-6a-502, a person may not operate or be in actual physical control of a vehicle if the person is under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or the combined influence of alcohol and any drug, to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle.
As for the potential sentencing, Utah Code 41-6a-503 states that a person who violates this code is guilty of a class B misdemeanor, which requires a punishment of up to six months in jail and / or up to $2500 in fines.
Furthermore, Utah Code 41.6a.505 mentions that, for a first time offender of a DUI, the court shall:
•Impose a jail sentence of not less than 48 consecutive hours;
•Require the person to work in a compensatory-service work program for not less than 48 hours;
•Require the person to participate in home confinement through the use of electronic monitoring;
•Order the person to participate in a screening;
•Order the person to participate in an educational series if the court does not order substance abuse treatment.
Along with these requirements, you will also get your license confiscated, which could be suspended for 120 days. This particular step is an administrative, or civil, process, separate from the criminal aspect of your case.
Since Utah is an "implied consent" state (41-6a-520), refusal to take part in a screening could result in a revocation of your driver's license for a period of 5-10 years.
Of the substances Utah considers illegal, and which you can be charged with a drug DUI, some of the more common are:
•Marijuana
•Cocaine
•PCP
•LSD
•Heroin
•Methamphetamines
•Ecstasy
Defense of a Drug DUI
When a driving under the influence offense involves drugs, an officer will not be able to use a breathalyzer to determine your level of intoxication. As a result, evidence from the initial stop will be restricted to the testimony of the arresting officer to establish if you were unfit to drive. The evidence the officer can use will be limited to any admission you have made, evidence of slurred speech, and a failure to perform satisfactorily on traditional field sobriety tests.

Even though you will have to submit to a chemical test, which may or may not accurately point to you being guilty or not, this is where a well thought-out defense strategy (often involving a DUI attorney) will become important. Considering that the judge or jury is taking the word of the officer and the results of a possible inaccurate test as the main sources of evidence, you do have the opportunity to refute the allegations and have the charges reduced or possibly dismissed.

Darren Levitt is a Salt Lake City criminal defense trial attorney and manager of the law firm Levitt Legal, PLLC. He proudly represents individuals in and around the Salt Lake City area who are accused of alleged criminal transgressions. Darren is dedicated to protecting and defending the individual rights of the clients he represents. As an experienced Utah Drug DUI Lawyer , he is qualified to take on your case and fight for your freedom.

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