Penalties after a DUI Conviction

After a DUI conviction in the State of Utah, the court is required to impose certain minimum mandatory penalties and punishments. The court can also increase the penalties up to a statutory maximum. The different types of penalties that can apply in a DUI case are listed below.

The law is constantly changing and evolving. This information is provided to help you spot the issues in your case and the potential penalties that might be imposed. If you need specific legal advice about what penalties might apply in your case, then contact an experienced DUI defense attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah, at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP. Call (801) 532-5297 today. 

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Prime for Life© educational course for DUI offenders - The course addresses problems related to the use of drugs and alcohol. It helps people understand the harmful consequences of inappropriate use or addiction. 

Screening and Assessment

The court will order the person to submit to a screening and assessment by a separately licensed treatment provider then the person who will provide the education and treatment.

Under Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44), the court SHALL order every DUI offender to participate in screening and assessment.

Screening

The screening takes only 15 minutes. It is used to help determine if a person needs a referral to a licensed substance abuse agency for a substance abuse assessment. The screening uses the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI)  and the CAGE tool which is an initial screening instrument.

Assessment 

An in-depth interview (one to two hours) used to determine if a person is in need of substance abuse treatment. In Utah, this assessment tool is the Addictions Severity Index (ASI), which can be self-administered. A licensed mental health therapist, however, must make the diagnosis, consistent with Utah law. Information gathered during the assessment process is used to determine need for treatment, the level/intensity, and length of care that a patient needs.

If the DUI offenders assessment meets the diagnostic criteria for a substance abuse disorder, then the offender is required to participate in a treatment program in addition to or in lieu of the educational course.

Education

Under Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44, for a first and second-time offenders, the court SHALL order the offender to participate in an educational series if the court does not order substance abuse treatment.

The purpose of education and treatment programs is to help reduce recidivism. 

Treatment 

Under Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44, the court MAY order substance abuse treatment for a first or second offense.

The court SHALL order substance abuse treatment for a third or subsequent conviction or for any other felony conviction.

Incarceration 

The judge will order the offender to serve “48 hours” in jail. In some cases, for individuals with significant health issues or steady employment, the court will impose Electronic Monitoring, which is as effective as and less expensive than incarceration.

Under § 41-6-44 of Utah Code Ann., the law provides that for a first misdemeanor conviction, the court SHALL do one of the following:

  1. impose a jail sentence of not less than 48 consecutive hours; or
  2. require the person to work in a compensatory work service program for not less than 48 hours; or
  3. require the offender to participate in home confinement through the use of electronic monitoring.

Under § 41-6-44 of Utah Code Ann., the law provides that for a second misdemeanor conviction within ten years of a prior conviction, the court SHALL do one of the following: 

  1. impose a jail sentence of not less than 240 consecutive hours; or
  2. require the offender to work in a compensatory work service program for not less than 240 hours; or
  3. require the offender to participate in home confinement through the use of electronic monitoring.

Under § 41-6-44 of Utah Code Ann., the law provides that for a third or subsequent misdemeanor conviction within ten (10) years of a prior conviction or for any felony offense, then the court SHALL sentence the offender to prison or impose a jail sentence of not less than 1,500 hours.

Electronic Monitoring 

Electronic monitoring under Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44(13), the court MAY order the defendant to participate in home confinement through the use of electronic monitoring as an alternative to all or part of a jail sentence for a first or second misdemeanor conviction. Additionally, if the court chooses to sentence a felony DUI defendant to probation, the court may include electronic monitoring as a condition of probation.

Supervised Probation

In some cases, the court will sentence the defendant to supervised probation under Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44(14). The defendant must pay the costs of electronic monitoring unless the court waives those costs in which case the electronic monitoring provider shall absorb the costs.

As part of electronic monitoring, the court MAY:

  1. require the person’s electronic home monitoring device to include a substance abuse testing instrument;
  2. restrict the amount of alcohol the person may consume during the time the person is subject to home confinement; and
  3. set specific time and location conditions that allow the person to attend school, educational classes, or employment and to travel directly between those activities and the person’s home.

In DUI cases, the court will specify a period of supervised probation, and the defendant pays the cost for being supervised on probation. The supervision is by contract with a probation monitoring agency or a private probation provider. The probation provider monitors the person’s compliance with all conditions of the person’s sentence and notifies the court of any failure to comply with or complete that sentence. 

The court MAY order supervised probation for a first misdemeanor DUI conviction. On the other hand, the court is required to order supervised probation for the following offenses: 

  1. a second misdemeanor DUI conviction;
  2. any misdemeanor DUI conviction if the BAC of the defendant was .16 or higher; 
  3. a felony DUI conviction if the court does not impose a prison term.

Ignition Interlock

Under Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44.7, the court MAY order the installation of an ignition interlock system for any offender convicted of DUI who is sentenced to probation. 

The court is required to order the installation of an ignition interlock system for:

  1. any offender convicted of DUI who is under the age of 21 when the violation occurred; or
  2. any offender convicted of a second or subsequent DUI within ten (10) years of a prior conviction.

The ignition interlock device is an effective control mechanism used along with the educational programs and treatment programs. 

Compensatory Work Service

The court can impose a condition that the person performs compensatory work service in order to benefit the community. 

Under Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44), the court MAY order the defendant to:

work in a compensatory work service program as an alternative to all or part of a jail sentence for a first or second misdemeanor conviction. The minimum number of compensatory work service program hours for a first misdemeanor conviction is 48 while the minimum for a second misdemeanor conviction is 240.

Fines

Under Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44), the court SHALL impose a fine of:

  • not less than $700 for a first misdemeanor conviction; or
  • not less than $800 for a second misdemeanor conviction; or
  • not less than $1500 for a felony conviction.

Victim Impact Panels

The court can also require the person convicted of DUI to attend a Victim Impact Panel. 

Driver License Actions

Under Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44(11), the Driver License Division SHALL:

  1. suspend the offender’s license for 90 days upon a first DUI conviction; and
  2. revoke the offender’s license for one year upon a second or subsequent DUI conviction.

The court MAY order an additional suspension or revocation of the offender’s license for a period of 90 days, 180 days, one year or two years.