DUI Law in Salt Lake City, UT

What Is a DUI?

DUI, which refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is a criminal offense that can lead to weighty consequences. Also known as DWI, the process of going to court to face either conviction or exoneration can change the course of your life forever.

Learn more about your DUI law defense options below, and then talk to a local attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah who will help you in this delicate situation. You don’t have to stare down consequences alone. You can take wise steps today to protect your interests.

Possible Consequences of a Salt Lake City, Utah DUI Conviction

Where you live, the severity of the incident and your criminal record determine the sentencing for a DUI. The punishments can drastically increase if you have had previous DUIs, so be mindful of that. If this is your first DUI, do not go at it alone and risk costly mistakes. Get a Salt Lake City law firm on your side to fight for you and your rights.

Paying Fines

If convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Salt Lake City, Utah, you can count on fines being a part of your sentencing. According to the Utah State Legislature, DUI fines range from $700 for a first offense, to $1,500 for a third offense. However, the addition of surcharges and security fees can increase the fine to $1,380 for a first offense.

However, other factors can drastically increase the amount you must pay, including:

  • Any damage to property while driving under the influence
  • If someone suffered injuries as a result of your intoxicated driving
  • Cases that include child endangerment
  • Any court costs associated with your case

Jail Time

Jail time is mandatory, even for first-time offenders in Salt Lake City. If this is your first DUI offense, you may only have to face a day or two in prison. But if you have previous convictions for DUIs, you can be sentenced to several months or years, depending on the nature of the crime. Know that some circumstances can add even more time in a cell, including injury to other people while driving under the influence.


If you do not face jail time, you will likely be on probation, with the sentencing judge determining the duration. You will pay monthly fees, and you cannot commit any more criminal offenses, including traffic violations. If you violate the terms of your probation, count on facing time behind bars.

For your first DUI in Salt Lake City you could receive as much as 12 months of probation. However, if your blood alcohol content is .16 or higher, supervised probation is mandatory. Terms can include installing an Ignition Interlock Device and community service. In addition, you can be subject to random drug and alcohol tests by your probation provider. If you live in Salt Lake City your probation will typically be supervised by Salt Lake County Probation Services. The monthly supervision fee is $30. Even a single probation violation in Salt Lake City could result in the judge revoking probation. Consequently, you could serve jail time up to the maximum amount that was originally waived.

Drug and Alcohol Education Program

Following a Salt Lake City DUI sentencing, the law states you must complete a drug and alcohol education program. This will teach you about the dangers of driving under the influence. These programs cost more fees besides the legal costs you already have to pay.

On your first DUI offense in Salt Lake City you will be ordered to complete DUI School. The only DUI Education curriculum approved by the Utah Department of Human Services is PRIME for Life. The course is 16 hours and is taught over at least 2 days. This class typically costs $220 and must be paid in full upon enrollment. You can find a state-certified program in Salt Lake City on the Utah Department of Health & Human Services website. After completing a mandated course, you can pay your reinstatement fees at the Salt Lake City Driver License Office. Specifically, you must pay a $255 administrative fee and a license reinstatement fee of $85.

The education programs also include a DUI evaluation. An evaluator asks you questions about how alcohol and drugs affect your life. If they believe that you are dependent, you may have to enter a substance abuse treatment program.

Suspension or Loss of License

No matter where you may face a DUI conviction, you have to undergo a license suspension period, at the very least. If it is your first DUI, you may have a license suspension for a few months while you go through probation and the drug and alcohol education program.

If this is not your first DUI, you may have your license suspended for much longer, or you could have it taken from you permanently.

What Should You Do When Charged With a DUI in Salt Lake City, Utah?

If you’re facing a felony DUI charge, you must take the following steps to protect yourself:

Step 1: Contact an Attorney Familiar With Salt Lake City, UT DUI Law

Immediately following your DUI arrest, you need to contact an experienced Salt Lake City DUI attorney. Your attorney can help prepare for your arraignment and prepare a defense to vindicate yourself or reduce the sentencing.

Step 2: Learn About Your Local DUI Laws

Salt Lake City, Utah has unique laws for DUI or DWI charges. Your lawyer will work with you to help you better understand your state’s laws on driving while intoxicated. It is critical to understand what charges you face and the potential outcomes of your case. 

Step 3: Request a DMV Hearing

You or your attorney should request a hearing as soon as possible following your arrest. In Salt Lake City, Utah you only have so much time to ask for a DMV hearing to keep your license until your court appearance. If you do not request a hearing, prepare for a license suspension.

According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, your license will be confiscated upon arrest for a DUI in Salt Lake City. The police officer will give you a temporary driving permit. However, you have 10 days from the date of arrest to request an administrative hearing. Otherwise, your privilege to drive may be withdrawn on the 45th day after the arrest. You can either fax or email the Hearing Request Form to the Utah Driver License Division in Salt Lake City. The hearing should be held within 30 days of the citation.

Step 4: Prepare for Court Appearance

You and your attorney will prepare for your appearance and arraignment in Salt Lake City. If you plead “not guilty,” your DUI defense attorney represents you in court, and a judge and jury oversee the DUI law case.

Step 5: Receive Sentencing or Exoneration

You will either be “not guilty” of the charges brought against you and walk free, or you will receive sentencing for a guilty verdict.

Work with an Experienced Local DUI Lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah

Should you ever find yourself charged with a DUI, you need to work with an experienced Salt Lake City, UT lawyer who can stand up for you in court. You cannot clear your name of the charges or reduce the consequences without help. Your life and future depend on having great legal representation during your DUI case. Contact an attorney near you today. We can even help you connect with legal help across Utah state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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