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Will my driver license be suspended for a minor alcohol charge in Utah?

A conviction for possession/consumption/purchase of alcohol by a minor under Utah Code Ann. 32B-4-409 can result in having your driver license suspended for a year, or even longer.  Possession of alcohol by a minor is also considered a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and nearly $2,000 in fines plus surcharge.

If you are convicted of being a minor in possession of alcohol ("MIP"), the chances of serving jail time are relatively small when compared with other more serious crimes.  However, Utah law can require that the Driver License Division suspend your license for a year for a first conviction.  If you are convicted for a second offense, your license can be suspended for two years.  But there are ways to avoid having your license suspended.

The most sure way to avoid having your driver license suspended in a minor in possession case is to avoid being convicted in the first place.  If your attorney is able to negotiate a plea in abeyance agreement with the prosecutor, this can a conviction for possession of alcohol.  Since it is a criminal charge, you are also entitled to have a jury trial on the charges and require the prosecutor to prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be convicted.

If you are convicted of possession of alcohol by a minor, you may still be able to avoid losing your driver license for a year.  Under Utah Code Ann. 32B-4-409, the court can reduce the period of your driver license suspension on a first offense if you complete an alcohol educational series.

If you are facing charges for possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor, or other criminal charges, contact us now to schedule an initial consultation.  Stephen Howard is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Salt Lake City, helping clients throughout Utah.  His track record speaks for itself.


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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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