Zero Tolerance DUI for Under 21 Year Old

We all know that young people under the age of 21 are not legally permitted to consume alcohol. Because of their lack of experience drinking alcohol, younger drivers are likely to become impaired faster and the effects of alcohol are likely to be more pronounced. Therefore, young people face more dangers from driving after consuming even a small amount of alcohol. 

At the same time, younger drivers lack experience driving. Being under the influence of alcohol lowers inhibitions and makes the driver take more risks. For these reasons, Utah has enacted special DUI provisions that apply to a driver under the age of 21 who is impaired by drugs or alcohol. 

*Update: Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed HB 155 into law changing the legal blood alcohol level from 0.08 to 0.05. The Bill will take effect December 30, 2018.

Attorneys for the Zero Tolerance DUI in Salt Lake City, UT

If you were charged with Utah's Zero Tolerance DUI, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP in Salt Lake City, UT. Our attorneys are experienced in fighting different types of drunk and impaired driving cases. We understand the penalties associated with this form of DUI and the best way to effectively fight the charges.    

Call (801) 532-5297 for a free consultation to discuss your case today.   


Zero Tolerance DUI - Utah Code Ann. § 53-3-231

Under Utah Code Ann. § 53-3-231, under the “Not-A-Drop” statute, any person younger than 21 years of age is subject to a no tolerance provision related to drinking and driving. A driver in this age group may not operate a motor vehicle or motorboat with any amount of alcohol in the body. 

A first violation results in a 6-month license suspension. A second or subsequent violation within three years results in a two-year license suspension.


Suspension Times for Drivers Under 21

If the driver is under the age of 21 at the time of the arrest, then the administrative suspension periods for drivers depend on whether the case involves a Per-Se arrest under UCA 53-3-223 or a Not-a-Drop arrest under UCA 53-3-231.

If the driver is under age 21 at the time of arrest and refuses to submit to a chemical test, the license will be revoked until the person is 21 years of age for a period of two (2) years, whichever is longer, for a first offense.

For a driver who is 19 or 20 years old at the time of stop, the following suspension periods will be imposed for a first offense:

  • Not-a-Drop arrest – 6 month suspension effective 30 days from arrest date
  • Per-Se arrest – 6 month suspension effective 30 days from arrest date

For a driver who is 18 years old or younger at the time of arrest, the following suspension periods will be imposed for a first offense:

  • Not-a-Drop arrest – 1 year suspension effective 30 days from arrest date
  • Per-Se arrest – 2 year suspension effective 30 days from arrest date

"Not a Drop" DUI Impounds for Drivers under 21 Years Old

Utah law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from drinking "a drop" of alcohol. When an under-aged person is stopped by a police officer, their vehicle may be impounded if the driver has been drinking. The vehicle can be impounded even if the driver's blood alcohol level is lower than Utah’s standard for a DUI. The owner of the vehicle is still the one required to obtain the release.

The owner of a vehicle impounded under the "Not A Drop" law is subject to the same procedure as other "DUI" impounds. To obtain a release, the vehicle owner, or authorized agent, must:

  • Present a photo I.D. to establish their rights as the legal, registered owner of the impounded vehicle;
  • Provide a copy of the TC-540, Vehicle Impound Report, which is provided by the arresting officer.
  • Pay an administrative fee in addition to any other taxes or fees due. 

The administrative fee must be paid, regardless of whether or not the owner was the driver arrested for DUI. The Driving Under the Influence (DUI) impound release fee and the Boating Under the Influence (BUI) impound release is $400.00.


Additional Resources

53-3-231.  Zero Tolerance DUI for a Person under 21 - Visit the website of the Utah State Legislature to learn more about Utah’s Public Safety Code under Chapter 3 of the Uniform Driver License Act. Read more about Section 53.3.321 for persons under 21 who operate a vehicle or motorboat with a detectable amount of alcohol in their body. Also find information on chemical testing procedures.


Attorney in Salt Lake County for Underage 21 DUI

If you were given a citation for a violation of the Not a Drop Section (53-3-231) then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP are experienced in fighting DUI cases involving a driver who is under the age of 21 years old.

Call (801) 532-5297 today for a free consultation. Let us put our experience to work for you.

This Article Was Last Updated on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.