How Do Police Handle A Minor Suspected Of Being DUI In Utah?

If a minor under age 18 is pulled over and the officer is conducting an investigation for DUI they do not have to call the parents. Typically they would call the parents if an arrest is made so the parents can come to pick up the minor child, but they do not have to wait for a parent to be present to go forward with the DUI investigation. Sometimes people ask if a minor can waive the constitutional right to remain silent, and the answer is yes – the minor has the authority to do that.

Will A Minor Be Brought To Jail If They Are Arrested For DUI?

If a minor child under age 18 is arrested for DUI, the first thing that most officers will try and do is contact a parent or legal guardian to come to pick them up. They’ll usually take them to the police station rather than the jail and wait for the parents to arrive. The parents need to be able to get there within a reasonable amount of time. If the parents cannot be contacted or they can’t get to the station in a reasonable amount of time to pick them up, then the child will be taken to a juvenile detention center. In that situation, they would be booked into the juvenile detention center and then the parents can pick them up from there.

Does The Implied Consent Law Apply To Drivers Who Are Under 21 In Utah?

Yes, the implied consent law does apply to drivers under age 21 in Utah – in fact, the implied consent law specifically addresses people who are under 21 and imposes harsher penalties. For a first offense the implied consent law indicates that the license can be suspended for a period of six months and if it’s a second offense or subsequent offense, the suspension can be up to two years or until they reach the age of 21, whichever is longer. On a second offense, they’re looking at a two-year license suspension if they’re determined to be in violation of the DUI laws, so that’s pretty harsh.

Will My Child’s DUI Case In Utah Be Heard In Adult Court Or Juvenile Court?

For a minor child who is under the age of 18, the case will typically be held in the juvenile court for the county they live in. It doesn’t necessarily go to the county where the DUI occurred, because it is most often transferred to the county they live in to be adjudicated.

What Is Utah’s Zero Tolerance Underage DUI Law?

The Utah zero tolerance underage DUI law means that there cannot be any alcohol in your system while you’re driving if you are under the age of 21. The statute is pretty clear that any detectable amount would constitute a DUI. So, how is the officer detecting it? A lot of times they’ll say that they smell the odor of alcohol. Sometimes they’ll give them a portable breath test or do the standard sobriety test to see if there’s impairment, but either way the standard for anyone who’s under the age of 21 and is behind the wheel of a vehicle in Utah is zero tolerance for alcohol.

Could I Also Face Additional Charges To An Underage DUI Charge In Utah?

I have seen cases where the minor child has been charged with a DUI and then they could also be charged with unlawful possession and consumption of alcohol and with an Alcohol Restricted Driver charge. There is a Class B misdemeanor charge for the DUI, a class B misdemeanor for the unlawful possession and consumption, and for driving with alcohol in their system on a restricted license. Those are three different charges under the statute and in some cases I have seen all three charges prosecuted. All of them will result in a driver’s license suspension of a minimum of six months on a first offense, so yes there can be additional charges depending on how zealous the prosecution is.

For more information on Handling Underage DUI Charges In Utah, a free consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 309-6966 today.

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