Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
A person may be charged with a DUI (Utah Code §41-6a-502) if they are driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A person may also be charged with a DUI if they are not actually driving a vehicle but are in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In other words, if you’re sitting in your vehicle behind the wheel, but not driving it, you may still be charged with a DUI.
A defendant may be charged with a DUI if:
- A chemical test shows that the defendant has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 grams or greater at the time of the test, at the time he was operating the vehicle, or at the time he was in physical control of the vehicle.
- He is under the influence of alcohol or drugs to a degree that renders him incapable of safely operating a vehicle.
If a defendant has committed the above crime for the first or second time, then he is guilty of a class B misdemeanor unless any of the following enhancements apply.
Class A Misdemeanor. A defendant is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if any of the following are true:
- He has inflicted bodily injury upon another due to his negligent operation of the vehicle.
- He had a passenger 16 years old or younger in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
- He was 21 years or older and had a passenger under 18 years old in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
Third Degree Felony. A defendant is guilty of a third degree felony if any of the following are true.
- He has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another due to his negligent operation of the vehicle.
- He has two or more prior convictions (i.e. this is at least the third conviction) for an offense defined in the Utah Code under section 41-6a-501(2). However, this may not apply, and therefore may not enhance a defendant’s charges to a third degree felony, if the prior convictions are not within 10 years of either (1) the current conviction, or (2) the date the crime actually occurred.
- He has previously been convicted of automobile homicide, and that automobile homicide was committed after July 1, 2001.
- He has previously been convicted of a felony DUI.
Driving with any Measure of Controlled Substance in the Body
An individual who is not convicted of the crime described above may still be convicted of the separate crime of operating, or being in actual physical control of a vehicle, while having any controlled substance in his body. A controlled substance is any substance found listed under Utah Code 58-37-4, or any controlled substance that is found listed under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
If a defendant has committed the above crime for the first or second time, then he is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.