4 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Utah

If you’re planning a trip to Utah this summer, you’ll be one of many tourists eager to explore the outdoors. In 2021, 17.8 million travelers spent time in Utah. This number includes both in-state and out-of-state visitors and is more than five times greater than the population of Utah (3.3 million).

It’s no surprise Utah has so many visitors, though. It boasts five national parks and 43 state parks, making it a great place for nature lovers. If your plans include visiting the Beehive State, you’re in for a good time. However, there are some unique laws that you should know about before going all in on having a good time.

Where to Get Alcohol

If you are looking to wind down with an adult beverage after a long day in the sun, it’s important to be aware of where you’re getting it. When you dine out, you’ll notice a sign that designates whether the establishment is a bar or a restaurant

The difference is actually important. If you are in a restaurant, the server cannot sell alcohol until you show that you intend to order food. It doesn’t have to be a full meal. Ordering an appetizer should be enough to get you the drink you want.

If it’s a bar, you don’t necessarily need to eat anything, but a lot of the popular establishments serve food anyway.

Don’t Drink Before Driving

This is a given no matter where you are, but in Utah, the law is a little more extreme. Most states set the legal limit for blood alcohol content at 0.08. However, in the Beehive State, the limit is 0.05.

For context, a 180-pound man would only have to take two and a half drinks in order to be considered driving under the influence in Utah. Elsewhere, he could have up to four. 

When the state adopted this limit, the rationale behind it was to keep people from getting behind the wheel if they have been drinking. It’s never a good idea to operate a motor vehicle if you feel even slightly impaired–but it’s especially risky in Utah.

Camp in the Right Place

If you came to enjoy the great outdoors and sleep under the stars, make sure you are doing so legally. It is a class B misdemeanor to camp on state lands unless you’re in a designated camping area.

In other words, if you pitch your tent in the wrong place, you can end up in jail for up to six months and get fined up to $1,000. In addition, you can be liable for civil damages.

Be Aware of Fire Dangers

If you want to build a campfire, you are generally allowed to do so. However, the state forester can set regional restrictions based on the conditions there. If you go against these restrictions, you can be guilty of a class B misdemeanor. 

Fortunately, it is easy to find information about fire restrictions. You just need to check the Utah fire info website before setting off on your adventure.

What To Do If You’re Accused of Violating State Law

If you get arrested and charged with violating a state law while you’re on vacation, it’s important to have representation behind you. Navigating the legal process is always tricky. You have to know what to say and — often, more importantly — what not to say. An experienced attorney can help you through these sticky situations and get you the best outcome possible. 

The lawyers at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat have more than 20 years of legal practice under their belt. They have helped countless clients, and they would be happy to help you. For a free consultation, call (801) 532-5297.

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