Take a Look at the Different Kinds of Traffic Offenses

No matter how long you’ve been driving, the sight of blue lights in your review mirror is enough to strike fear deep in the pit of your stomach. Many times, there is a simple explanation for getting pulled over. Sometimes there isn’t and the resulting domino effect can land you in hot water. Utah is a state that takes the safety of its residents very seriously and offers little latitude for those who are caught driving under the influence. If this has been your experience, then you likely worked with a skilled Utah DUI lawyer who handled your case appropriately. 

Many people do not realize that they can be charged with driving under the influence without ever having had a drop of alcohol to drink. It is also not necessary to smoke pot or do any other types of hard drugs to find yourself in need of a great Utah DUI lawyer. There are multiple traffic offenses that can lead to a DUI charge in the midst of the domino line leaving you helpless, financially ruined, and possibly serving jail time. 

Luckily the best Utah DUI lawyers understand how to hold municipalities responsible for their policies and actions as well. Take a look at the different kinds of traffic offenses in Utah. 

Surprise DUI Charges

As mentioned above, you don’t actually have to be drinking or doing drugs to be legally charged with a DUI in Utah. If an officer pulls you over for probable cause, they have the right to ask you to submit to drug and alcohol testing. Many unsuspecting patrons happily agree knowing they have not been drinking or doing drugs. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the best choice.

If a urine test detects any metabolites from a legal prescription, even if it was taken days earlier, you can still be charged with a DUI in Utah. Furthermore, an intoxicated person does not actually need to be operating a vehicle to be charged with driving under the influence. If they are seated anywhere in a vehicle and have possession of the ignition key, they can still be charged. 

Different DUI Offenses

DUI offenses in Utah vary by individual circumstances and history. Each case is unique but repeat offenders rarely receive mercy in Utah. When it comes to charges and penalties, the state courts only consider violations occurring within the prior 10 years. First and second offenses without serious personal injuries are typically charged as misdemeanors and the third offense is charged as a felony. 

Misdemeanor charges can include mandatory jailtime or community service, heft fines, and suspension or revocation of the driver’s license. Depending on the blood alcohol level of the offender, the court may also impose an ignition interlock device requirement. Felonies require at least mandatory jail time, sky high financial penalties, license revocation and the ignition interlock device for a minimum of 2 years. 

Additional Case and Points

Most people understand that Utah operates its motor vehicle division on a point system. Most moving traffic violations have a specific number of points attached. When drivers are ticketed and they pay for that offense, it is reported to the Utah Driver’s License Division. Accumulating more than 200 points in a 3 year period typically results in suspended driving privileges. 

However, when the points are reported for driving under the influence it raises some red flags. In addition to the criminal and possible civil cases that must be litigated, the Utah Driver’s License Division can bring their own case against you. To keep your driving privileges intact, you must partner with a Utah DUI lawyer and prevail in a court of law as well as the Utah Driver’s License Division. The Utah Driver’s License Division must receive a properly worded written request for a hearing within 10 days of your arrest to schedule a hearing and fight for your driving privileges.

Partner with a Great Utah DUI Lawyer Today

If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is critical that you contact a Utah DUI lawyer immediately. Even with false allegations, you can potentially lose your driving privileges for years without following the proper procedures. As you’ve learned, there are many DUI offenses you can be charged with even without drinking or operating a vehicle in Utah. While these laws are meant to keep Utah roads safe, they can sometimes do more harm than good. If you unexpectedly find yourself in hot water after getting pulled over, partner with a Utah DUI lawyer who can preserve your driving privileges and fiercely litigate your case.