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Halloween DUI Blitz - Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

The number DUI arrests on Halloween in recent years have been as high as five times the number for an average weekend in some locations in Utah. If you are driving on Halloween don't drink. And if you are drinking as a part of your Halloween festivities, don't drive.

Increased DUI Patrols

Halloween and New Year's Eve are two times that have become notorious for drinking and driving. Police departments, county sheriff's offices, and the Utah Highway Patrol can engage in increased DUI enforcement efforts during these periods when DUI is perceived to be a greater problem. These efforts can include formal administrative DUI checkpoints, more patrol officers on the road, and concentrating officer activity in locations where suspected DUI offenders may be more likely to be found (e.g., near bars, clubs, etc.)

Before getting in your car, it is important to understand some basics about Utah DUI law. Utah law imposes criminal penalties for a variety of offenses relating to driving while under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.

For a traditional "DUI" charge, the prosecution must prove either impairment due to alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs, OR must prove that the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 or greater. (Note that as of January 1, 2019, Utah's legal limit was reduced from 0.08 to 0.05.) A traditional DUI charge based on drugs (rather than alcohol) can be based on illegal drugs or on prescription medications that have been legally dispensed to, administered to, or taken by the driver. In cases involving only medications that are lawfully prescribed to the driver, the prosecutor will have to prove that the medications actually impaired the driver's ability to safely operate the vehicle.

Utah law also creates a separate DUI-type offense for individuals driving a vehicle with any measurable amount of a controlled substance or controlled substance metabolite that has not been lawfully prescribed to the driver. This offense is often referred to as a DUI-metabolite charge. It does not require any proof of impairment. Even if the drugs were taken days ago and no longer have any effect on the driver's mental state or ability to safely operate a vehicle, the charge may still be prosecuted.

Utah DUI law also covers more than just "driving" a vehicle. DUI laws in Utah cover both the actual "driving" of the vehicle as well as cases where the defendant was only in "actual physical control" of the vehicle. Charges for "actual physical control" are common where a defendant has fallen asleep (referred to as "passed out" in most police reports) in the driver's seat of the vehicle.

A person who realizes that he or she is intoxicated to the point that they should not drive may be tempted to sit in the car and "sleep it off." But doing so creates the risk that police may believe the person to be "passed out behind the wheel." This can lead to a DUI charge for being in "actual physical control." It is much safer (and more comfortable) to "sleep it off" somewhere other than the vehicle.

Finding a DUI Defense Lawyer in Utah

DUI Attorney in Davis and Weber CountyIf you are facing criminal prosecution for DUI or other crimes in Utah, the assistance an experienced criminal defense lawyer is critical. Contact us today to arrange for an initial confidential consultation with Utah criminal attorney Stephen Howard.

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  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pointing handgun at and threatening another driver during a road rage incident. Defense investigation and analysis, combined with effective cross-examination at trial indicated the alleged victim was the initial aggressor and suported client's self-defense claim. Jury acquitted client at trial.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony drug distribution charge and potential life in prison. Charges were based on allegations that client had sold drugs to an undercover police officer, then made a full confession. Successful mitigation work resulted in negotiated offer of misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance and ultimate dismissal of case.
  • Utah Expungement Attorney Salt Lake Davis Expunged - Client with prior conviction for violent felony was ineligible for expungement through the courts. A successful 2-step reduction restored expungement eligibility and ultimately led to the court's decision to grant the requested expungement.
  • Violent Crimes Assalt Defense UtahDismissed at Preliminary Hearing - Client charged with aggravated robbery and facing life in prison. Full case analysis and consultation with client allowed the development of a strong defense strategy. Effective cross-examination of the alleged victim at the preliminary hearing resulted in an outright dismissal of all charges by the judge.
Best Criminal Defense Strategy

You want the best defense. Agressive is good. But results ultimately are what really matter. Creating an effective strategy for defending against criminal prosecution requires a thorough understanding of statutes, case law, and evidentiary and procedural rules. A successful outcome is more likely when....

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Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Defending against a criminal prosecution in Utah is a job that has to be done right the first time. Choosing the right attorney to defend you can be the most important decision you make. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling some of the most serious felony and misdemeanor charges on the books in Utah. No matter what charges you are facing, we can help....

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Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

A Utah criminal prosecution can result in a lifetime of consequences. Beyond jail and prison, a conviction can affect many areas of life, including employment, housing, finances, family, and much more. Never plead guilty without first consulting with an experienced criminal attorney. Understanding what is at stake is the first step....

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Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. But just being charged can affect more than you may have imagined - jail, job, family, bills, rent or mortgage. It can feel like everything has gone wrong, and may you wonder if anything can go right. But facing criminal prosecution does not mean giving up hope....

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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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