DUI with Serious Injury

Utah Code : Two Sets of Offenses for Death or Serious Bodily Injury

The Utah Code prescribes two sets of offenses for drivers who cause death or serious bodily injury with alcohol or drugs in their system. Under the driving under the influence (DUI) provisions of the code it is a third degree felony to cause death or serious bodily injury while under the influence of alcohol or any drug “to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle" as provided by Utah Code § 41-6a-502(1)(b).

For instance, as provided by Utah Code § 41-6a-503(2), it is a third degree felony to inflict serious bodily injury as a result of operating a vehicle in a negligent manner and in violation of section 502.

Under Utah Code § 76-5-207(2), it is a third degree felony to cause death of another by operating motor vehicle in negligent manner and under the influence of alcohol or any drug rendering the person incapable of safely operating the vehicle.

The “measurable substance” provisions set forth a related offense. Under these provisions it is a second degree felony to cause death or serious bodily injury with any “measurable” amount of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug in the person's body.

Under Utah's statutory scheme, the term "serious bodily injury" is defined as any bodily injury that creates or causes serious permanent disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or creates a substantial risk of death.

It is important to keep in mind that a DUI accident that results in any bodily injury that is less than "serious" can still be enhanced to a class A misdemeanor. A class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail.

*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.

Attorney for DUI with Serious Bodily Injury in Salt Lake City, Utah

If you were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causing serious bodily injury (DUI With Serious Injury), a third-degree felony, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah, at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP.

Under the DUI With Serious Injury Statute, a person who, while “under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or the combined influence of alcohol and any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle,” “inflicted serious bodily injury upon another as a proximate result of having operated the vehicle in a negligent manner” also commits a third-degree felony. Id. § 41–6a–502(1)(b) and § 41–6a–503(2)(a).

A misdemeanor DUI in Utah can be enhanced to a felony if charged as DUI With Serious Injury Statute. Under Utah law, DUI with serious injury occurs when a person who, while "under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or the combined influence of alcohol and any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle," "inflicted serious bodily injury upon another as a proximate result of having operated the vehicle in a negligent manner" also commits a third-degree felony. Id. § 41–6a–502(1)(b) and 41–6a–503(2)(a).

The "DUI With Serious Injury" statute applies to individuals under the influence of “any drug.” See Utah Code Ann. § 41–6a–502(1)(b). The statutes include controlled substances within the definition of “drug.” Id. § 41–6a–501(1)(c)(i) (defining “drug” for purposes of the DUI With Serious Injury Statute to include controlled substances).

If you need a criminal defense attorney in Salt Lake City, UT, for DUI with death or serious bodily injury cases in Salt Lake City, UT, then contact a criminal defense attorney at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP.

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