Facing an Alcohol Crime Charge in Salt Lake City?
DUI Lawyers Serving Utah
You are driving one night when a police officer pulls you over. What you think is a routine stop suddenly turns into a sobriety test, and you have to take a breathalyzer. Now, you’re charged with a DUI and don’t know what to do next. It’s important to contact our DUI lawyers for guidance on moving forward.
In another scenario, you might face a charge with having an open container in your car or taking alcohol over state lines into Utah. Or perhaps you’re dealing with other alcohol-related charges.
Even if you think there is no hope, and you’re going to have to plead guilty, that might not be the case. In fact, you could have a number of options for responding to your charges – and you could even get them expunged from your record with the help of a DUI team.
If you’re charged with an alcohol crime in Utah or you think you could be, then our Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney team, Conyers & Nix, is here to serve you. When you hire one of us, you hire both of us, guaranteeing you always have a collaborative team by your side. Together, we have several years of experience working with clients who are charged with alcohol crimes, and we can guide you through every step of the legal process to hopefully achieve your ideal outcome. Though we can’t make any promises, we will fight hard for you no matter what.
Alcohol Crime Related Practice Areas
Utah has the strictest drinking laws in the United States. The state was the first one to lower the blood alcohol content limit to .05%, which is below the typical .08%. If you are a 180-pound man, you cannot legally drive after drinking about two alcohol drinks, and if you were a woman, you’d be able to drink even less.
If you have a DUI on your record, you could potentially serve jail time, pay fines, have your license suspended, or be ordered to put an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. While these are worrisome scenarios, we’re here to help you prepare for them as soon as possible. Below is some helpful information to keep in mind:
Field Sobriety Tests and Preliminary Breath Tests
When an officer stops you for a DUI, they will ask you to perform three roadside tests called “field sobriety tests.” Don’t take them. Politely reply, “No thank you.”
Field sobriety tests are designed to find clues of impairment that will lead to your arrest. If you don’t take the tests, the officer won’t have the clues to arrest you. You cannot be forced to take the tests.
After you refuse, the officer will ask you to blow into a small machine called a Preliminary Breath Test. Don’t take this test! Politely decline so you don’t give the officer more evidence.
Breath Tests and Blood Tests
If you’re arrested for a DUI, the officer will ask you to take a breath test or blood test. You now have a decision to make: (A) agree to the test and if you’re over the limit, your license could be suspended for 120 days; or (B) refuse the test and your license will be suspended for 18 months.
We recommend that you only consent to the test AFTER you are arrested so that your license is only in jeopardy for 120 days. If you refuse, the police will apply for an electronic warrant, a judge will sign it, and the police will draw your blood anyway.
If you have an option, choose the breath test. In court, a breath test is easier to attack than a blood test.
Driver License Hearing
After you are arrested for DUI in Utah, the first thing you should do is file an appeal with the Utah Driver License Division. It must be filed within 10 days. If you don’t file an appeal, your license is automatically suspended 30 days after your arrest. If you file an appeal, a hearing will occur within 30 days after your arrest.
At the hearing, you can represent yourself or be represented by an attorney. We advise you call our DUI lawyers if ever you face DUI charges.
The hearing officer will determine five things: (1) if a police officer had grounds to believe you were in “actual physical control” (driving) of a vehicle, (2) if you were asked to take a chemical test (breath or blood test),(3) whether you refused, (4) whether you were warned of the potential consequences, and (5) whether you submitted to the chemical test.
The police officer who arrested you will testify and you or your attorney may cross-examine them. If the police officer fails to appear at the hearing, the DLD will not suspend your license.
Getting a DUI is stressful because you don’t know what could happen with your case. If you’re worried, contact our DUI lawyers for help with your charges.
Open Container Violations
If you drive with an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of your car, you could be charged with a class C Misdemeanor, spend time in jail, and pay fines. Conyers & Nix will collect information about what happened when you are charged with possessing an open container and figure out how to handle it in court. Perhaps you had the open container in a permissible place in your car, like your trunk, or it was never actually opened. We’ll make sure to look for all opportunities we could utilize in court.
If you are charged with an open container violation, but don’t know where to turn for help, we’re available. Click here.
Underage Drinking in Utah
There is zero tolerance for underage drinking in Utah. If you’re under 21, you cannot purchase or drink alcohol, or ask another person to purchase it for you. If you are found guilty, you will be ordered to get a substance abuse class and/or have your license suspended for a certain period of time. If you don’t yet have your license, your application could be put on hold.
You can also be charged if you’re an adult who gives alcohol to a minor or buys it for them. This is a misdemeanor and you may have to pay thousands of dollars in fines and/or serve jail time.
The circumstances for your case are unique and we’ll look at what happened to determine your options moving forward.
If you’re facing underage drinking charges, we’re here to help. Reach out if you are charged with underage drinking.
Public intoxication means a person was allegedly under the influence in public and potentially put others in harm. You could get a misdemeanor charge on your record and/or have your license suspended if you’re under 21 years of age. We will go over the details of what happened when you are charged and come up with a way to contest your charges for you.
Public intoxication charges can seem intimidating, but we’re on your side. Contact Conyers & Nix for assistance with public intoxication charges.
Violating Utah Drinking Laws
Utah has distinctive drinking laws that are unlike other states. For instance, you can’t drive over state lines with alcohol or order an alcoholic drink past 1 a.m. in an establishment. Since the state has stricter laws, you may not be familiar with them and face charges you weren’t expecting. We’ll determine the angle to approach your case depending on the details of it.
If you are charged with violating a drinking law, and you don’t have representation to help, make sure you get in touch.
Why Should You Work With Conyers & Nix?
We are transparent with our clients at every stage in their legal process. We keep our clients informed so that they are empowered to make decisions regarding their future. Instead of going for a plea deal like many other criminal defense attorneys would, we fight for clients to achieve better results. We only advise seeking a plea deal when there is no other choice, but rest assured that we’ll examine every angle before helping you decide what to do.
We are DUI lawyers and know how difficult it can be to face criminal charges. We served as public defenders and gained experience serving clients in the toughest situations imaginable. Now, we’re ready to help you fight your criminal charges and move on with your life in a productive and healthy way.
Contact Our Experienced DUI Team
If you are interested in working with Conyers & Nix on a DUI or other alcohol crime charge, get in touch with us today. When you reach out, make sure you let us know the details of your case including the date of the alleged incident and any upcoming court appearances. Then, we’ll get back to you within 24 hours. Don’t wait – contact us today.