DUI Insurance Laws in Utah

Drunk driving in UT carries many penalties, including fines upward of $800, license suspension, and jail time. SR-22 Insurance will be required for three years.

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UPDATED: May 5, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: May 5, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • A person convicted of a DUI for the first time will receive a minimum of 48 hours jail time, 48 hours in a work service program or home confinement
  • It is always recommended that individuals charged with DUI consult an experienced lawyer
  • After a DUI conviction in Utah SR-22 auto insurance is a requirement for a period of three years
  • A DUI has a drastic effect on rates for your car insurance in Utah

Utah may be the most restrictive state when it comes to the use of alcohol and Utah DUI insurance laws.

Alcohol can only be purchased in state-owned liquor stores. Alcoholic beverages can be served in licensed restaurants with meals from noon to 1 am, Monday through Saturday. Beer and wine service can begin at 10 am.

Until recent changes liberalizing the state’s liquor laws private clubs were the only places liquor could be served without food.

The blood alcohol content (BAC) that constitutes a person driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in Utah is a reading over .08 percent.

Prosecutors can convict the driver on these test results alone. According to the state’s zero tolerance laws which are in place to discourage underage drinking and driving, drivers less than 21 years of age may not have any BAC level indicated or they face DUI charges.

If you have been convicted with a DUI, enter your ZIP code and begin comparing car insurance quotes for FREE!

For a first DUI conviction, you can face up to 48 hours in jail, 48 hours in a work service program or home confinement

Utah DUI Insurance Penalties

If a driver refuses to take chemical testing for BAC (breath test, blood draw, or urine), it carries a mandatory suspension of driving privileges for up to a year.

The Department of Motor Vehicles(DMV) imposes penalties on those convicted of DUIs with the suspension of their driver’s license for 90 days on a first offense and a year for the second and third offenses.

A person convicted of a DUI for the first time will receive a minimum of:

  • 48 hours in jail, or
  • 48 hours in a work service program, or
  • Home confinement

Along with:

Other additional sentencing possibilities include:

Both criminal and administrative penalties are likely with a person’s first DUI conviction in Utah. These penalties can also be applied to a person’s DUI insurance laws.

The law states both minimum and maximum penalties for a first offense conviction vary according to whether the driver is an adult, commercially licensed, or a minor in violation of the zero tolerance laws.

Minors in violation of implied consent laws carry different penalties. It is always recommended that individuals charged with DUI consult an experienced lawyer.

The first offense DUI administrative penalties which may be adjudged are:

A license suspension of 90 days. If the individual refused to submit to BAC testing he will receive a suspension of 18 months.

Criminal penalties which may additionally apply on a first DUI conviction are:

  • Incarceration for at least two days which can, under limited circumstances, be served by participation in a work service program
  • Alternative sentences may be given to offenders to avoid incarceration or even negate conviction. These include accepting home confinement, electronic monitoring, and/or extended probation times
  • In Utah, the minimum fine is $700 for a first DUI conviction. However, additional expenses incurred by the state in relation to completion of sentencing requirements, such as educational programs, home monitoring, or costs regarding reinstatement of licensing will increase this initial amount.
  • A first DUI conviction will influence any additional conviction for a period of 10 years. The record remains on the individual’s criminal record indefinitely unless the file is sealed or the conviction expunged.

Despite relatively heavy penalties for DUI and more difficulty in obtaining alcohol than in many states, Utah’s DUI fatalities have the highest increase in the country.

The actual percentage is low enough that any increase makes the percentage larger. The understanding of these statistics depends on how one interprets them.

If alcohol is perceived on a person in an accident, it is considered alcohol-related. Also, even if the person causing the accident was not drinking but the other driver was, it is called alcohol-related.

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Utah DUI Insurance

After a DUI conviction in Utah SR-22 auto insurance is a requirement for a period of three years. This can be very expensive. Some car insurance providers will not even provide this type of insurance.

Comparing prices for Utah SR22 insurance can take only a few minutes by checking online to compare car insurance rates from different companies.

Mandatory liability insurance coverage in Utah becomes $25,000 bodily injury per person, $65,000 for multiple individuals which will pay for serious or permanent injuries caused by a crash.

It will cover legal representation for the insured person. $15,000 property damage liability is also required to cover damage to other people’s property in a motor vehicle crash.

With these high money amounts required, the cost to the individual is an additional expense to any penalties due to the initial DUI conviction.

A second DUI conviction in Utah brings stiffer penalties:

  • A minimum of 10 days in jail, or
  • 10 days minimum on a work service program, or
  • Home confinement for at least 10 days
  • A minimum fine of $800
  • License suspension for at least two years
  • If the second conviction occurs within 10 years of the previous one, an ignition interlock device will be required for three years

Additional possible sentences which may be added for longer duration are:

  • Home confinement with electronic monitoring
  • Supervised probation
  • Required participation in alcohol/drug screening
  • Mandatory alcohol/drug assessment program participation
  • Substance abuse education course completion
  • Participation in substance abuse treatment

An individual may be arrested for and convicted of DUI even if his blood alcohol level is below .08, as long as he appears affected by alcohol.

If it is his second violation within 10 years, the penalties listed above may be implemented.

Any person accused of DUI should contact a lawyer who specializes in such cases. Also, one should take a look at our Car Insurance Guide to insure some money is saved after a DUI!

With a second conviction for DUI, the person’s car may be impounded and his driver’s license will be confiscated at the time of his arrest and a temporary license will be issued valid for 30 days.

After that the will be without a license for two years and it will cost $200 to get it reinstated after that period.

They become an alcohol restricted driver for the next 10 years, meaning they can’t consume any alcohol and drive. This status appears on the driving record. Many times this will result in the driver having a bad driving record for car insurance. 240 hours of community service must also be served.

Utah DUI Information

License reinstatement may be applied for after the first three years if the individual has been violation free for the last year. This license allows him to drive to work or school only.

Completion of an alcohol treatment program and an alcohol testing program and use of an ignition interlock device for three years are required.

This requirement applies whether the individual applies for a restricted license or waits out the 10 year period. Any Utah driver, who has been convicted of a DUI, should compare Utah car insurance with our comparison tool!

Criminal penalties which may be added with a second DUI conviction are:

  • At least 20 days in jail and $800 in fines. Other expenses for the alcohol treatment program and ignition interlock device must be paid also.
  • If the second DUI occurs during the 10-year look-back period, the court will hand down harsher penalties.
  • A second DUI is still considered a misdemeanor in Utah.
  • A lawyer may be able to get this DUI reduced through a plea bargain to a lesser charge carrying fewer consequences, such as wet reckless. If the lawyer can show his client wasn’t under the influence of alcohol or that the evidence was mishandled, he can plead not guilty and go to trial.

A third conviction for a DUI offense in Utah becomes a felony even if no additional charges or damage to life and property are involved, and carries much heavier penalties.

A minimum of 1,500 hours in jail can extend to five years, a minimum $1,500 fine, and a license suspension for at least two years and use of an ignition interlock for three years are required. Minimum requirements will most likely be imposed.

Supervised probation is imposed for a duration specified by the court. The driver’s license may be suspended for three years with an additional three years using an ignition interlock device added if the conviction occurred within the look-back period.

If an individual is charged for the third time with a DUI, he should contact a lawyer immediately to help with his trial. That action can mean the difference between conviction on a lesser charge or even an acquittal.

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Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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