No brainer, right? If you have a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater you can be found guilty of misdemeanor DUI. In an alcohol-related DUI you generally have to exhibit pattern of impaired driving. The officer who stops your car will then ask you to do field sobriety tests to determine the likelihood that you have been driving while impaired. If you exhibit sufficient "clues" in the field sobriety tests the officer will then have to take a portable breath test ("PBT"). The field sobriety tests coupled with the PBT, pattern of driving, odor of alcohol, blood shot eyes, etc., generally constitutes sufficient probable cause to make the arrest for DUI. After arrest, the officer will take you to his headquarters where he'll have you submit to a breath or blood test to determine your blood alcohol content. If your BAC is .08 or greater you can be cited for DUI.
A DUI metabolite charge is different than an alcohol related DUI because it involves driving with a measurable controlled substance in your blood. Like an alcohol related DUI, there typically needs to be a driving pattern that would suggest impairment before a law enforcement officer can stop you. Of course, an officer can stop you for a simple traffic violation as well and then can use that as a pretext to see if you have any clues of impairment. An officer who suspects DUI metabolite must establish probable cause, such as the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. If an officer has probable cause to arrest you for DUI metabolite, he can request that you submit to a blood or urine test and if you do not consent he can get a warrant for a blood draw. If the blood draw or urine test shows positive for a controlled substance, even if you have a prescription, you can be cited for DUI metabolite. A DUI metabolite requires supervised probation.
DUIs in Utah are enhanceable, which means the penalties increase the more you get. Specifically, if you get three DUIs (whether alcohol related or metabolite) within a 10 year period, your third DUI is considered a felony DUI and carries a penalty of 0-5 years in prison, with a minimum mandatory sentence of 62.5 days in jail. Additionally, with a felony DUI you lose the rights of any convicted felony including gun rights. You will also be placed on supervised probation with Adult Probation and Parole, whereas with misdemeanor alcohol related DUI probation does not have to be supervised.
Driving while impaired (DWI) is not really a separate charge in Utah, but it is a point of leverage for prosecutors and defense attorneys because it is considered 1 degree lower than a DUI. The major advantages of getting a DWI as opposed to a DUI is that there is no minimum mandatory jail time or community service, you do not become an alcohol restricted driver, you do not have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and the driver's license suspension is cut in half from 120 days to 60 days and in cases where the driver won his driver's license hearing there is not driver's license suspension. An impaired driving conviction, however, is still an enhanceable offense and counts toward the three in 10 years limit toward a felony DUI.
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