DUI Laws in Utah

How Utah defines “driving under the influence” (DUI) and the consequences of a conviction.

By , Attorney · Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

In Utah, a person can be convicted of DUI (driving under the influence) for driving:

For purposes of the DUI statute, "under the influence" means the driver is "incapable of safely operating a vehicle."

Utah has a zero-tolerance law that makes it illegal for motorists who are younger than 21 years old to operate a vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their body.

Utah DUI Penalties

Utah imposes mandatory minimum jail sentences and fines for DUI convictions. The penalty depends on BAC level coupled with prior convictions, if any. Offenders who had (1) a BAC of .16 or higher; (2) a BAC of .5 or higher plus any measurable controlled substance; or (3) a measurable amount of any combination of two or more controlled substances (excluding substances allowable under the UT Medical Cannabis Act) are known as "High BAC" offenders subject to elevated penalties. The chart below provides potential sentences:

1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense


180-day maximum (mandatory 2 days in jail or 48 hour community service). High BAC

180-day maximum (mandatory 10 days in jail or 5 days in jail plus 30 days of electronic monitoring)

5 years in prison maximum (mandatory 62 days in jail if prison isn't ordered)


$1,310 minimum

$1,560 minimum

$2,850 minimum

Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

1 year required with BAC of .16% or more (judge has the option for lower BACs)

2 years (with one or more prior convictions within 10 years)

2 years (with one or more prior convictions within 10 years)

License Suspensions for a DUI Conviction in Utah

All Utah drivers convicted of a DUI face a driver's license suspension. The suspension for a first, second, and third DUI are as follows.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Suspension Period

120 days

Revoked for 2 years

Revoked for 2 years

Implied Consent and Refusing a Blood or Breath Test in Utah

Utah's "implied consent" laws require all drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI to submit to a blood, oral fluids, or breath test. An unlawful refusal will result in the following license revocation periods.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

License Revocation

18 months

3 years

3 years

For purposes of determining what is a second or third refusal, prior DUI convictions, refusals, and failed BAC tests within the past ten years are counted. Also, if a driver has already had a license suspended or revoked for DUI within the past ten years, the Driver License Division will revoke the license for a period of three years, even if this is the first time the driver has ever refused a test.

Plea Bargaining in Utah DUI Cases

In some first-time DUI cases, a reduction to an "impaired driving" charge is possible. An impaired driving charge is just an alcohol-related driving offense without the mandatory jail, fines, and license suspensions that come with a DUI conviction. However, an impaired driving conviction counts as a prior DUI for the purpose of determining a second or third DUI within ten years. In addition, this option is not available to high BAC offenders.

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