Recently, Utah changed the penalties for those arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) who are under 21 years old. Under the old law, if police stopped a driver under 21 and the driver had “even a drop” of alcohol in his or her system, the driver would lose his or her license until age 21. Lawmakers saw that those who lost their licenses were driving anyway and looked for ways to encourage young adults to change their behavior instead of flagrantly violating the law.
The new underage DUI penalties allow drivers to earn their licenses back in a shorter amount of time by complying with certain rules, such as having an alcohol screening, attending treatment, and having a clean driving record for the suspension period.
Drivers Under 19 Years Old In Utah
For a first offense DUI arrest of a driver under 19 years old, the Driver License Division (DLD) of the Utah Department of Public Safety may suspend the driver’s license for:
Two years for a per se arrest, meaning the driver was operating the vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, beginning 30 days from the arrest date
One year for a not a drop arrest, where the driver was operating the vehicle with any amount of alcohol in his or her system under a 0.08 BAC, beginning 30 days from the arrest date
For a second DUI offense for a driver under 19, the DLD will suspend the driver’s license for two years or until the driver turns 21 years old, whichever is longer.
Drivers 19 To 21 Years Old
For a first DUI arrest of a driver who is 19 or 20 years old, the DLD will revoke the driver’s license for six months starting 30 days from the arrest date for both per se and not a drop violations.
For all drivers under 21 years old who refuse to take a chemical test, the DLD will suspend the driver’s license for two years, whereas the suspension period was 18 months under the old law.
While the new laws allow underage DUI arrestees to earn their licenses back earlier than under the old laws, one Utah DUI Lawyer says Utah police still take underage drinking and driving very seriously and will stringently enforce the laws.
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