What Are The Laws Surrounding Underage Drinking And DUI?

In Utah, someone who was under 21 would not be allowed to drink a drop of alcohol.  We have cases where someone who was 20 years old was stopped and a DUI investigation was initiated and they were arrested. The driver’s license portion of it would still be the same as if it were a DUI, so the person would have to go to the driver’s license administrative hearing and fight there to have their license returned to them. It would be a 6-month suspension for a first offense, versus a 120 day suspension if they were 21. If they got to court after being found to be over the limit, then the prosecution would try and charge the person as a DUI. If the person was under the limit, the prosecution would be likely to file an alcohol restricted driving charge and unlawful possession or consumption of alcohol charge because they could be at 0.05 but they still might not be DUI under the statute, although that is how most prosecutors would charge people unless they caused some accident or something like that.

What Constitutes The Age Of A Minor In Utah If Someone Was Charged With Suspicion Of DUI?

A minor would be someone who was 16 years old and under. If someone was driving DUI and they had a minor, or a child who was under the age of 16 in the vehicle, then that charge would be enhanced by one level, from a B misdemeanor to an A misdemeanor.

Do Additional Charges Like Child Endangerment Or Custody Issues Arise With Aggravated DUI?

I have not seen anyone around here being charged with child endangerment, although I have seen it come into play with regards to custody. I used to handle a lot of family law before I exclusively became a DUI petitioner. I handled a case which involved a young mother who got two DUIs within a short period of time, and the ex-husband came to me and claimed he was really worried about the safety of his children, because he felt she was out of control. We used those two DUI convictions to switch custody to him. Before she was able to get custody back, she had to complete a lot of treatment and counseling, complete court probation, pay a lot of fines and then prove and demonstrate to the court that she was done with this tailspin that she was in with her life and that she had regained control.

Can Someone Still Be Arrested For A DUI If They Were Over 21 And Blew Under The Legal Limit?

Yes, and this happens all the time here, and as a matter of fact, I recently handled two of these cases. The clients were over 21 and they had performed poorly on the field sobriety tests, so the officer arrested them and took them to the station. One girl blew 0.05, so she was well under the limit, and the other lady could not blow into the machine when she was arrested. She did the field sobriety tests and was taken to the jail, but she could not blow into the machine so the officer just let her go. He did not get a blood sample or anything, but when I was sitting with her and asked her why they did not take her blood or do something else, she explained that the officer was just being very nice. On each one of those cases, even though the ladies involved were over 21, in one case the girl blew below the legal limit, but the prosecution still filed the charge and wanted to go forward on both of them.

When I was talking to them, I mentioned that they did not even have a chemical test, and they only had the field sobriety tests. The client admitted to drinking but she was an older lady which is why she probably did not do well on the tests. A prong of our statute states that someone who was under the influence of anything and if the client admitted to drinking, then there would be the alcohol and there would also be the factor of the person being incapable of safely operating a vehicle. The lady had rounded a bend in a road and her tire may have brushed up against the gutters or something like that, which is what they were trying to prosecute her for. The other one was also a similar type of case.

If the person admitted to drinking, they were found to be 0.05 so they were close to being over the limit, and they did not do very well on the field sobriety tests, then even though they would be under the limit, the prosecutor would still try and prosecute them for DUI. A lot of clients come in and ask me why they should even hire me because they were under the limit, or they would tell me that the police did not even give them a blood test, or they were not over the limit. I would tell them that the prosecutor would still try and prosecute them and the officer would still show up at the driver’s license hearing. The prosecutor would still try and get something out of the person, and if the client did not have me there, then the prosecution would try and take advantage of it either way, which is why I would need to be there to help my clients through the process.

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