Seeking Justice for ALL in UtahSM

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The Utah Justice Foundation has a MISSION to inform, to educate, and to seek Justice for ALL involved with the criminal justice system in the state of Utah.

We seek to help criminal defendants receive fair and balanced Justice for their particular circumstances and case! We seek long-term solutions for each defendant, while being mindful of the interests of victims and society.


DUI (driving under the influence) cases have procedural aspects emanating from both the Court and the Driver License Division of Utah's Department of Public Safety. For example, if requested within 10 days of the date of the DUI incident, an Administrative Hearing is conducted by the Department of Motor Vehicles to determine whether the Accused's driver license shall be suspended while the Court Case is proceeding. Click on the Quick Link in the right column for more information on requesting a DMV Hearing - do not delay given the 10-day time limit.

DUIs Costly: It is worthwhile to note that a DUI case will be costly for the Accused. Indeed, the Utah Driver License Division ("DLD")estimates that the cost for a DUI will likely be more than $9,000. For the breakdown, click here. If the Accused is dealing with a second or third DUI, the costs will be even higher!

Mandatory Sentencing: Utah's DUI laws place certain mandatory minimum requirements on sentencing. In addition, the laws provide for enhancement of the minimum sentencing requirements if the DUI offender's Blood Alcohol Concentration ("BAC") is .16 or higher and with each subsequent DUI conviction of the offender. In other words, the minimum sentence is required by law to be more severe for the DUI offender with a BAC twice the legal limit of .08 BAC, and for a second-time DUI offender within a ten-year period. The chart below summarizes the mandatory minimum sentencing requirements of Utah's DUI laws.

Ignition Interlock: The mandatory use of an ignition interlock device by a twice-convicted DUI offender is an example of the enhancement feature under Utah's laws. For a list of additional DUI related convictions that will require the use of an ignition interlock device, use the link to the right. The cost to the convicted DUI offender for the interlock device will be $65 to $85 per month for 36 months plus an installation fee of $30 to $60. This comes to $2300 to $3,000 on top of the $9,000 cost mentioned above.

For more information from an experienced company that supplies ignition interlock devices, we suggest reviewing the website of Affordable Interlock, LLC.

Get Gephardt - Ignition Interlock Device is
Required After the Second DUI Conviction

Commercial Drivers: In Utah, it is illegal for commercial drivers to operate their vehicles with a BAC of .04 or greater. These DUI offenders will face license suspension and criminal penalties. Moreover, a law enforcement officer may require a commercial driver with any measurable level of alcohol in his or her blood, to refrain from driving until his or her BAC is below .01.

DUI Specialist Attorneys: The Utah Justice Foundation, believes that there are only a few attorneys in Utah that have dedicated virtually their entire law practice to defending those accused of DUI-related offenses. A couple of those attorneys are our Featured Attorneys for DUI Cases on this page. For some excellent educational material from one of those attorneys, Mr. David E. Rosenbloom, just click here.

Minimum Sentencing Requirements under Utah's DUI Laws1

Type of DUI

Administrative License Suspension/Revocation
by the Utah DLD2

Substance Abuse Education and

Jail Time Possible or Required4

Ignition Interlock Device Possible or Required5
Under Age 21 DUI
90 Days
Required -
3 Yrs
Chemical Test Refusal DUI
18 Months
Required -
3 Yrs
1st DUI
90 Days
Assessment, Education or Treatment
48 Hrs
Jail or EHC or CS
May Require
2nd DUI
1 Year
Assessment, Education or Treatment
240 Hrs Jail or EHC or CS
Required -
3 Yrs
3rd DUI
1 Year
Assessment, Education & Treatment
1500 Hrs Jail Time Required
Required -
3 Yrs
Felony DUI
1 Year
Yes, Required
Required -
6 Yrs
Auto Homicide DUI



Yes, Required

Required -
10 Yrs


1 - Minimum Sentencing - A person convicted of DUI will be subject to additional criminal law penalties not shown in the chart -- including restitution, fines and community service. These criminal penalties are more discretionary than those identified in the chart, and as such more difficult to predict. Generally, first-time DUI offenders can expect to incur a fine and face the possibility of jail time. Repeat DUI offenders will incur harsher fines, and will likely be sentenced to a number of days in jail. In fact, third-time DUI offenders are required by Utah law to spend at least 62.5 days in jail. Penalties will be most harsh if the DUI offender was involved in an accident in which someone else was injured or killed.

2 - Administrative License Suspension/Revocation - The administrative license suspension/revocation penalties shown in the chart refer to minimum mandatory penalties imposed on drivers whose Blood Alcohol Concentration ("BAC") is at or above the Utah limit for intoxication of .08, or on drivers who refuse to submit to BAC testing. Administrative suspension or revocation of a driver's license is handled by Utah's Driver License Division ("DLD"), and is imposed separately from any criminal court penalties. Utah imposes harsher penalties for second or third DUI offenses, defined as those that occur within ten years of the prior DUI offense(s). The penalties shown in the chart above do not include variations for DUI offenders operating commercial vehicles, or drivers who have violated "zero tolerance" and "enhanced penalty" DUI laws. Utah, like most states, does recognize different sanctions for these types of DUI offenses. Note: Utah law allows the court to impose, in its discretion, an additional suspension period of 90 days, 180 days, 1 year, or 2 years beyond the period imposed by the Utah DLD.

3 - Mandatory Substance Abuse Education and Assessment-Treatment - Substance abuse (drugs or alcohol) education and assessment-treatment penalties for Utah's DUI offenders can include an assessment of potential alcohol/drug dependency problems, and mandatory attendance at DUI prevention programs. Such programs are often made "conditions" of a suspended jail sentence or probation, meaning that a DUI offender can avoid jail time and payment of hefty fines if he or she completes the court ordered DUI prevention program(s). The type and duration of the required treatment programs may vary depending on the offender's number of DUI's and other charges associated with the current DUI charge.

4 - Jail Time - Jail time may be imposed for any DUI related offense. For a first or second DUI offense within 10 years, the court must impose a minimum number of jail time hours under Utah law. However, Utah law allows the court to substitute either electronic home confinement (EHC) or community service (CS) hours for the "required jail time hours." As indicated in the chart, Utah law requires imposition of at least 1500 hours (62.5 days) of jail time for a third DUI within a 10-year period - and neither EHC nor CS hours may be substituted for this mandatory jail time.

5 - Ignition Interlock Device - A vehicle ignition interlock breath-testing device measures a vehicle operator's BAC, and will prevent operation of the vehicle if more than a minimal amount of alcohol is detected (i.e. BAC level of .02). DUI offenders are required to pay the costs of installation, rental, and maintenance of an ignition interlock device. As indicated in the chart, Utah law requires utilization of an ignition interlock device beginning with the offender's second DUI within ten years - usually for 36 months. Typically, the first 12 months of use will be monitored with "drive-prevention" incidents being reported to the court for follow-up and possible further penalties.

Defendants have Rights guaranteed under the
Constitution of Utah

********     In criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person and by counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a copy thereof, to testify in his own behalf, to be confronted by the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his own behalf, to have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed, and the right to appeal in all cases. In no instance shall any accused person, before final judgment, be compelled to advance money or fees to secure the rights herein guaranteed. The accused shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself; a wife shall not be compelled to testify against her husband, nor a husband against his wife, nor shall any person be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.   *********

Constitution of Utah - Article 1, Section 12 - Rights of Accused Persons
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Glen Neeley
Attorney at Law
Ogden, Utah

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David E. Rosenbloom
Attorney at Law
Salt Lake City, Utah

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Given ICE's high profile in Utah, the Utah Justice Foundation recommends that Immigration Issues be carefully examined and considered by an Immigration Attorney if the Accused is not a U.S. Citizen.
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