Utah has some of the severest and most punitive DUI penalties in the country. Without the assistance of competent counsel, the cost of your DUI could exceed $10,000.
IF I PLEAD GUILTY, EVEN TO A FIRST DUI OFFENSE IN UTAH, HOW MUCH COULD IT COST ME?
Along with a minimum court fine of at least $1,300, there are several long-term, harmful consequences and opportunity costs, including:
- A requirement that you rent and have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in your vehicle for as long as 18 months initially. The IID generally costs as much as $1,500 by itself after installation and monthly maintenance fees.
- An order to pay for a substance abuse evaluation and counseling, an assessment if found appropriate by the screening, and a state-created 16-hour “Prime for Life” education series (broken up into four-hour classes). The Prime for Life classes cost approximately $200 depending on the private service provider.
- Cancellation of automobile insurance policies (by most recognized insurance carriers) and higher SR-22 insurance premiums (by as much as two to three times) as a high risk driver.
- Loss of employment (and difficulty finding employment) due to:
- Mandatory jail time (e.g., 48 consecutive hours for a first DUI offense under statute). If you plead guilty or are convicted of a DUI, you will receive no leniency, because the judge has virtually no discretion in consequence of mandatory minimum sentences.
- Increased court-imposed license suspension length beyond the administrative license suspension time enforced by the Driver License Division (DLD), e.g., 120 days for a first time DUI (as a result of a breath test failure).
- The ten-year period that a DUI suspension must stay on your criminal history. Conversely, most felonies can be expunged off your record after seven years. Note also that a DUI is a permanent entry on your Utah drive record!
- No availability of a provisional “hardship permit” in Utah that would allow you to drive to and from work, school, the doctor, etc. along pre-determined routes at specific times.
- Supervised probation administered by a probation officer with, e.g., Adult Probation and Parole (AP&P) of at least 12 months along with alcohol dependency treatment at your expense if you had a “high BAC” result on the Intoxilyzer machine (.16 or higher).
- DLD license reinstatement costs.
- A state-mandated fine of over $300 to have your vehicle impounded (in addition to an hourly towing fee and vehicle storage costs). State law will not allow a friend or relative to come get your car.
- If arrested and booked in jail, you will have to post bail to a bail bondsman for release from custody.
- Sanctions on professional licenses (e.g., CDL) or certifications.
- Inability to qualify for federal student education loans.
- Difficulty renting cars or housing.
- Irreparable damage to family relationships and societal status due to the stigma of a DUI.
RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES LOST BY PLEADING GUILTY TO DUI CHARGES
If you plead guilty (or are convicted) of a DUI, you could lose other rights and privileges related to:
- Welfare assistance;
- Concealed weapon permit;
- Passports and international travel (particularly to Canada); or
- Non-U.S. citizen immigration.
INVEST IN YOU FUTURE, HIRE AN EXPERIENCED DUI LAWYER
Due to the unforgiving and specialty nature of a DUI, a cost-benefit analysis would indicate that you have a much greater chance of actually saving money on a DUI if you hire a qualified DUI attorney to handle your case.