Utah has the lowest rate of drunk driving arrests in the nation. It's also well-known that tourism is one of the leading streams of income for the state. Both of these issues are being addressed with a new law set to take effect at the end of next year. It may increase the number of those arrested for DUI.
Some of Utah's criminal laws -- especially misdemeanors -- have never been challenged in the state's highest court. Most often, this is because doing so is not cost-effective and takes a great deal of time and effort. That is, until recently. The Utah Supreme Court recently issued a ruling upholding the constitutionality of the state's DUI-metabolite law.
Some laws passed by the Utah legislature go into effect without much more than a whisper while others meet with intense controversy before they are enacted. One such law previously discussed in this blog on March 17 is intended to lower the state's legal blood alcohol limit to .05 from .08 ("Major change is coming to Utah's DUI laws"). Since that time, the American Beverage Institute and others have begun a campaign aimed at getting the legislature to repeal the law even before its Dec. 30, 2018 effective date.
Hit-and-run accidents happen under a variety of circumstances. However, the state of Utah files charges against hit-and-run drivers based on the belief that most of these crashes are caused by drunk drivers. Therefore, if you failed to remain at the scene of an accident for whatever reason, you could face a DUI hit and run charge.
Many Salt Lake City residents are familiar with local news anchor Shauna Lake. As she drove Interstate 215 early one Wednesday morning, a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol noticed a vehicle driving slower than the posted speed limit in the inside lane of the highway, which is often commonly referred to as the fast lane. The trooper initiated a traffic stop. After speaking with Lake, the trooper suspected her of driving under the influence of alcohol.
For most Utah teens, prom night is supposed to be about partying and ending the school year on a high note. Unfortunately, one teen's prom night partying resulted in a devastating crash that killed two passengers, injured two others and caused injury to the driver as well. The now 18-year-old driver faces numerous charges, including DUI, automobile homicide and possession of alcohol by a minor, among others.
Just being arrested for driving under the influence could cost some people their driver's licenses. This jeopardizes their ability to work and take care of their families. Perhaps a new DUI program that Weber County is taking for a test drive will help rectify this problem.
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers says that ignition interlock devices save lives. Yes, they keep impaired Utah residents from driving drunk, but they save lives in another way. Many individuals charged with DUI are spared the negative effects of a conviction by opting to use an ignition interlock device.
The Governor of Utah is set to sign a bill that recently made its way through the state's legislature. The proposed law lowers the state's legal blood alcohol concentration limit to .05 from its current level of .08. If signed by Gov. Herbert, the new DUI law would go into effect on Dec. 30, 2018.
One conviction for being impaired behind the wheel here in Utah comes with both short-term and long-term penalties. One of the long-term consequences of a DUI conviction is that, if you are arrested on a subsequent drunk driving charge, the offense is considered more serious. This often means more penalties and other repercussions if you are convicted.