IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS USED IN UTAH’S DUI STATUTE 41-6a-502
DUI – 41-6a-502– Driving or sitting while parked while under the influence to the point of Impairment OR greater than .079 BAC – consisting of the following elements: 1) Actual Physical Control of: 2) Of A Vehicle: 3) Anywhere, while: 4) Impaired OR Having a BAC <= .079.
- Actual Physical Control (APC) Is: Basically anything the cop says but legally limited to a few key factors: a)occupying the driver’s seat; b) keys in the ignition; c) not parked outside your house; d) seatbelt on; e) car is capable of being driven; f) position of the driver’s seat (reclined?);
- Definition Of Vehicles: “Any device upon which a person may be drawn or transported along a highway except those devices entirely upon fixed tracks.” (Includes bicycles, golf carts, ATV’s, etc.)
- Definition Of Anywhere: It doesn’t matter any longer if you were off road, in your garage or parked on private property – thus anywhere;
- Per Se Vs. Impairment: Any BAC .080 or over at any time subsequent to the stop OR “Impairment” as defined by the cop’s subjective judgment of your performance on the field sobriety tests (yes you can get a DUI with a .050 BAC which is obviously under the per se .080 limit!).
DUI Metabolite 41-6a-517-Driving with any measurable amount of metabolite of any illegal drug OR legal RX drug that causes impairment.
DUI Refusal 41-6a-502 -Drivers face an 18 month revocation of their license with NO provision for limited driving to work etc.
DUI – Not A Drop – Minor w/BAC greater than .000 while in Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle, Anywhere. Facing 6 month DL suspension.
IMPAIRED DRIVING (One Level Reduction From DUI) OFFENSES Under 41-6a-502.5:
(The Only possible Plea Reduction Available Today Since The Removal Of The Plea In Abeyance From the Plea Bargaining Process)
41-6a-502.5. Impaired driving — Penalty — Reporting of convictions — Sentencing requirements.
With the agreement of the prosecutor, a plea to a class B misdemeanor violation of Section 41-6a-502 committed on or after July 1, 2008, may be entered as a conviction of impaired driving under this section if:
(a) the defendant completes court ordered probation requirements; or (b) (i) the prosecutor agrees as part of a negotiated plea; and (ii) the court finds the plea to be in the interest of justice. (2) A conviction entered under this section is a class B misdemeanor. (a) (i) If the entry of an impaired driving plea is based on successful completion of probation under Subsection (1)(a), the court shall enter the conviction at the time of the plea.(a) (ii) If the defendant fails to appear before the court and establish successful completion of the court ordered probation requirements under Subsection (1)(a), the court shall enter an amended conviction of Section 41-6a-502. OR (b) The court may enter a conviction of impaired driving immediately under Subsection (1)(b). (Dave’s note: You obviously want subsection “b” as if you screw up during probation the charge can’t revert back to a total DUI and make you install an IID device to drive; HOWEVER, subsection “b” is reserved for very low level BAC’s (usually under .100) and subsection “a” let’s the court have total control over you during probation and virtually guarantees you’ll finish successfully, therefore most judges and prosecutors like “a.”)
Difference Between Impaired Driving (I.D.) And A DUI? I.D. keeps you from having to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on every car you own OR operate, and it doesn’t come with supervised probation with random U/A’s and it usually doesn’t affect your insurance as much and it gets your license back in just sixty (60) days instead of one hundred and twenty (120) days assuming you can get the deal done in time.
METABOLITE DRIVING OFFENSES Under 41-6a-517 (Usually Marijuana or Legal RX) :
Metabolite: In cases not amounting to a violation of the Utah 502 DUI Statute, a person may not operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within this state if the person has any measurable amount of controlled substance or metabolite of a controlled substance in the person’s body. That means if you smoked weed legally in CO or CA and then drove a week later into Utah and were absolutely NOT “impaired” (the officer in this hypothetical agrees that you weren’t “impaired”) but you told the officer about smoking legally – you would get a DUI based on the residual metabolite (breakdown) of that drug over time that was still measurable in your blood (usually for up to two (2) weeks after smoking weed, four (4) days after taking a lortab, and two (2) days after taking a sleeping pill). Remember: if you took the pill as prescribed legally you have an affirmative defense to 517 BUT you do not have one to 502; thus if you can’t pass the SFST’s on the side of the road, the cop will just cite you under 502 for impairment. Get it? Never, Ever talk to an officer about behavior period and especially behavior the officer could know nothing about – no matter what the officer says (lies) to you. Metabolite: No impairment required. The case is proven with any measurable controlled substance or metabolite of a controlled substance in the person’s body. It doesn’t even have to be the actual substance you took. For example Soma (Carisprodol) breaks down into Meprobamate and both will get you a 517 DUI. LESSON: Never, ever tell a police officer what drugs you took and when – that is your business and your doctor’s business, not the State’s business.
IMPLIED CONSENT LAWS:
Tests Permitted: Blood, breath, and or urine and it is the officer’s choice of which one(s) and how many. Type of Advisement required: Implied consent requirements; penalties of refusing testing; of administrative suspension; and of no right to an attorney for testing. Penalties for Refusal: 18 months to 24 months loss of license, ignition interlock device requirement, and restricted alcohol license. Admissibility of Refusal: Admissible according to URE. Administrative Per Se Law: Immediate license seizure, 90 day suspension for first offense for 2 years for subsequent offenses.
CHEMICAL TEST LAWS:
GENERAL PROVISIONS: Evidence of a defendant’s blood or breath alcohol content or drug content is admissible except when prohibited by Rules of Evidence or the constitution. Breath tests are admissible as to the time of the test. There is no longer a requirement that a test be given within two (2) hours for it to be presumed accurate. BLOOD-DRAW STATUTE : Only a physician, registered nurse, practical nurse, or person certified by the State Health Department, acting at the request of a peace officer, may withdraw blood to determine the alcoholic or drug content. The limitation above does not apply to taking a urine, breath, or oral fluid specimen. INDEPENDENT TEST STATUTE: The person to be tested may, at the person’s own expense, have a physician of the person’s own choice administer a chemical test in addition to the test or tests administered at the direction of a peace officer. The failure or inability to obtain the additional test does not affect admissibility of the results of the test or tests taken at the direction of a peace officer, or preclude or delay the test or tests to be taken at the direction of a peace officer. PLEA IN ABEYANCE OR DIVERSIONS: A plea may not be held in abeyance in any case involving a driving under the influence violation that is punishable as a felony or class A misdemeanor. These are now illegal by statute and may no longer be entered into under Utah DUI law.