What You Need to Know About the Utah Driver’s License Appeal Process Following a DUI Arrest

Millions of Americans rely on their driver’s license to legally drive to and from work, school, the grocery store, and other destinations. Losing it after a DUI arrest can be inconvenient at best, and life-changing at the worst.

The DUI Arrest

When you are stopped for a DUI in Utah, you will be facing both criminal charges and a driver’s license suspension. The police officer will confiscate your license and issue a citation that acts as a temporary driving permit for the next 29 days. You then have 10 days to request a hearing with the Driver’s License Division (DLD) of the Utah Department of Public Safety in your county. Failing to do so practically guarantees a minimum license suspension of 120 days.

The Hearing

This hearing, which is purely administrative in scope and heard by a DLD employee, allows you to present your case for keeping your license. The potential suspension period that you face is determined by factors like the following:

  • Your age—those under 21 face a minimum suspension of 120 days
  • The existence of any previous DUI convictions—a second conviction can prevent you from driving for two years!
  • Actions you did or didn’t take at the time of arrest, such as refusing a sobriety test

Many people are represented by DUI attorneys who will challenge the evidence against the accused and seek to get any automatic suspension withdrawn. Should the DLD ultimately decide to revoke your license, you are legally allowed to appeal the decision to the District Court, where you will appear before a judge.

The Appeal

Unlike the DLD hearing, this appeal is a formal court proceeding and the rules of evidence apply. While driver’s license suspension hearings substantially (as opposed to completely) comply with your due process rights, license appeals are completely oriented around them. Hearsay is not admissible and all witnesses must appear in court and be subject to cross-examination, making it a good time to have a Utah DUI attorney advocate for you.

If you or someone you love is facing revocation of your Utah driver’s license, call Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins today. We offer a complimentary consultation for DUI charges, and can both help you understand what to expect and fight for your right to keep your driver’s license, so that your personal and professional obligations are not impeded by your inability to drive.

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Written by Arnold Wadsworth Coggins

Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins Attorneys is a premier Utah law firm serving the Wasatch Front in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, criminal law, and civil litigation. Our attorneys provide clients with exceptional legal representation and personal attention. With over 35 years of trial practice and litigation experience, we bring big firm expertise at affordable rates