Aggravating Factors in Utah DUIs

You’re on your way home from a friend’s birthday party, and all of a sudden you see flashing lights behind you. You might have only had a few drinks, but your BAC is just a little too high and you end up getting a DUI. While this is certainly not an ideal situation, it actually could be much worse. In the state of Utah, a typical DUI can turn into what’s known as an aggravated DUI if there are certain elements at play. A few of these factors are discussed below, and can turn a bad situation even worse.

Multiple DUIs on your record

In Utah, getting a single DUI is considered a misdemeanor, and can include penalties and the suspension of your license. To discourage people from driving under the influence, each DUI comes with an increasingly harsher punishment. If you are getting arrested for a DUI, and it’s your third one within the last ten years, the state will turn your offense from a misdemeanor into a felony. A felony conviction automatically brings jail time into the equation, and also includes hefty fines.

Young passengers in the car

There’s no question that driving under the influence poses a danger to you and all of those around you on the road. However, if you are convicted of a DUI and you had a minor in the car while you were driving, your penalties will be more severe. Each state is different when it comes to setting the age at which passengers must be, but for Utah specifically, anyone in the car under the age of 16 will cause law enforcement to handle the situation as an aggravated offense.

Excessive blood alcohol concentration

For you to be considered safe to drive, your blood alcohol concentration must be below .08. Anything at or over that level will earn you a DUI. However, if you have been drinking an exorbitant amount, and your BAC tests at .16 or higher, you will be charged with what is known as an enhanced penalty DUI. This basically means that your blood alcohol level was so high, it is considered to be an aggravated situation. Because you were so severely impaired while driving, your consequences will be much higher.

Crashing your vehicle or injuring others

Naturally, driving under the influence is taken very seriously and measures are put in place to ensure you don’t repeat the same mistake. Yet if you are driving while drunk and you injure another person or cause serious property damage with your vehicle, your fines and license suspension will increase exponentially. Instead of being a danger only to yourself, you are now a danger to others, and you will be penalized as such. If the damage or harm is severe enough, you might even face jail time.

If you have been charged with a DUI, please call The Law Office of Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins today. We are here to help you through the process and answer all of your questions.

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