In order to be convicted of Driving Under the Influence in Utah, the prosecution must prove: (1) the person must have been “operating” or in “actual physical control” of a vehicle; and (2) the person must have a BAC that is at/above the statutory “per se” limit of 0.08, or be under the influence of alcohol or drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle. While these are the general requirements of a DUI, under the metabolite DUI law, if there is any measurable amount of a controlled substance, or its metabolite, within the driver’s body, the person can be convicted of a “metabolite DUI” regardless of whether or not the metabolite actually impaired the person’s ability to drive.
When facing a second DUI charge, Utah courts will look at the defendant’s driving record to see if the defendant has any previous DUI convictions within the previous ten years. If there is a previous conviction, this can seriously affect the possible sentencing requirements if a conviction results. When there is a previous conviction that has occurred within ten years, the mandatory sentencing requirement changes from 48 hours of jail time to 240 hours, however, the court still has the option to choose electronic home confinement instead of jail. Similarly, there is also an increase in the fine amount. Instead of a minimum fine of $700 plus a $630 surcharge and court fees, the fine is increased to a minimum of $800 plus a $720 surcharge and court fees. In addition to the fines and increased jail sentence, the court is also required to order supervised probation.
Along with these consequences, the defendant will also have their driver’s license denied, suspended, or revoked for a period of two years (if the defendant is 21 years or older) and will be required to have an ignition interlock device for a period of three years and will have an “alcohol restricted” driver’s license for a period of ten years. An “alcohol restricted” license requires that the person must not have any measurable or detectable amount of alcohol in the person’s body while driving.
In classifying the offense, a second DUI offense within ten years is either a Class A or B Misdemeanor. Within Utah, Class A Misdemeanors are more serious offenses than Class B Misdemeanors but are considered lesser offenses than felony charges. A second DUI offense will generally be a Class B Misdemeanor. The seriousness of the offense will be increased if there is bodily injury involved, there is a passenger under 16, or if there is a passenger under 18 and the driver is 21 or older. The offense can be elevated to a felony charge if there is serious bodily injury involved or if there is a prior felony DUI conviction or automobile homicide conviction. Misdemeanor and felony charges will appear on a person’s criminal record if a conviction results, which can be requested by future employers and government agencies.