The New DUI, BUI

Boating Under the Influence A Big Problem

When people think of getting in trouble for drinking and operating a vehicle, they automatically think about driving a car under the influence of alcohol, or DUI. But the famous DUI now has some competition, the BUI or boating under the influence. According to news reports boating while intoxicated has started to become a significant problem across the country and that is no different Utah. Utah’s BUI statute reads very similar to the DUI and can have similar consequences. The legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level is .08 grams per liter for both charges, and the arresting officer is authorized to seize the vehicle, in the case of boating that includes the boat, the trailer, and the towing vehicle.

The Spirit of the Law

It’s important to remember the reason behind DUI or BUI statutes, which is public safety. Whether you’re in a car or a boat, operating a vehicle while intoxicated can be dangerous or deadly, to you, your passengers, and those on the water or roadways. Hopefully, we all choose the route of safety and avoid DUI or BUI charges by not operating vehicles while intoxicated. However, if you have been charged with DUI or BUI contact the lawyers at Provo DUI Defense, and we’ll make sure that your rights are protected. 801.900.3371

DUI Penalties

Statutorily Required Penalties for DUI

In Utah there are certain penalties that are required by statute depending on the facts of the DUI charge. When a judge is faced with sentencing a person that has been convicted of DUI they will use a calculating system that determines what the mandatory sentence is and will also give suggestions for further sentencing.

The first two things to consider are whether the person was operating or in control of the vehicle, and whether or not they were tested to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .08 or were determined incapable of safe driving.

The first issue, operating or having control of a vehicle, means that the police can arrest you if they witnessed you driving or if the totality of the circumstances suggest you were driving or were about to be driving. If the prosecutor can’t prove either of these things then the case is dismissed.

The second thing is the BAC and there are three things that the court can use to determine this:

1. A subsequent chemical test (BAC of .08 or greater)

2. A determination that the driver was under the influence to a degree that rendered the defendant incapable of safely operating a vehicle

3. A blood or breath test at the time of operation (BAC of .08 or greater)

If the prosecution can’t show one of these things then the case will be dismissed.

The two issues above are the threshold questions and if they can’t be shown then there is no case, but if they can be shown then the only thing to consider is how serious the crime was because the existence of a DUI has already been determined. There are a number of things that can cause a DUI to be a Class A misdemeanor or a Felony, meaning it must be handled by a district court. These types of charges are very serious and carry much heavier penalties. The factors that could elevate a DUI charge to this level are: bodily injury, a passenger under 16, a defendant over 21 and passenger under 18, or previous DUI related convictions, reductions, or Plea In Abeyance.

The only other thing for a justice court to consider is if this is a first or second DUI offense. If it is a first offense then it carries at least 48 hours jail time, 48 hours of work service, or electronic home confinement as well as a fine of at least $1,332. If it is a second offense then it carries at 240 hours jail time, 240 hours work service, or electronic home confinement, and a fine of at least $1,532. Either scenario also involves assessment, education, screening and probation requirements. If you have more than two offenses then it goes into the range of Class A Misdemeanor or Felony and is handled by the district court.

DUI Auto-Homicide Accident

Salt Lake City Man Charged with Auto-Homicide

On May 22 Jonathan Bowers was stopped at an intersection in Taylorsville, when he was hit from behind by Gabriel Perez-Guiterez. Bowers was rushed to the hospital but later died from injuries sustained in the collision. Perez-Guiterez was later tested and found to have a blood alcohol level of .11 grams. Under Utah’s Automobile Homicide statute anything over .08 grams qualifies for auto-homicide. After the crash Perez-Guiterez fled on foot and hid in a window well where he was apprehended by police.

Worst Case Scenario

This story outlines one of the worst case scenario to driving under the influence. Perez-Guiterez now faces charges of automobile homicide, leaving the scene of an accident involving death, DUI, and speeding. The accident occurred while Perez-Guiterez was allegedly driving 75 mph. It is also reported that Perez-Guiterez hit another car before he hit Bowers and two other vehicles were also involved in the crash as a result of hitting Bowers.

Learning from Perez-Guiterez

This story should be a lesson to all of us that driving under the influence is dangers and you could face some serious consequences if you decide to drive drunk. If you have already made the mistake of driving drunk and you have been charged with a DUI hopefully you have decided to make a change in your life. Call a Provo DUI attorney to help you in changing your life for the better.

Bus Driver Cited for DUI

Last month a Cache County school bus driver pleaded guilty to a class A misdemeanor DUI charge. Police encountered the bus driver after she had gotten into a fight with another motorist. Tamra Gustaveson, had a blood-alcohol level of .091 just 15 minutes after dropping elementary and middle school students off at school. To make matters worse, police officers found a gun on the bus that belonged to Gustaveson. A plea deal was arranged in which Gustaveson would plead guilty to the DUI misdemeanor and the state would drop the additional count of carrying a dangerous weapon while under the influence of alcohol. Gustaveson will spend 30 days in jail as part of her sentencing.

Provo DUI Defender

Obviously, Gustaveson has set an example of what not to do, but even if you’re not planning on dropping off a school bus full of kids at school you should never drive while intoxicated. Unfortunately, people do drink and drive and they are arrested for DUI. If you are one of these people who have made a poor judgment call make sure and contact the experience Provo DUI and DWI lawyers at 801.900.3371. We can help you defend your rights against these charges and help you avoid some of the harsh results of a DUI conviction.

Increase in DUIs During Summer Months | Provo Law Firm

DUI Attorney – Provo, Orem, American Fork

It is no secret that DUIs increase significantly in Utah County and throughout the state of Utah during the summer months. At our law office our DUI Attorney receives more and more calls for drunk driving once the summer months hit in Provo, Orem, and American Fork. More people are out camping, travelling, boating, and participating in other recreational activities, and as a result, more people are out drinking and driving. While summer is a great time to be out having fun with friends and family, we all need to be careful not to get behind the wheel if we are intoxicated. For those of you who find yourself facing a DUI or related charge, we can help.

Non Automobile DUI

Yes it is true. You can be charged with a DUI for operating an ATV, boat, dirt bike, or other recreational vehicle under the influence of alcohol. During the summer we get many calls from clients who never knew they could be charged with these types of crimes. We have even heard of some people being charged with a drunk driving charge for riding a bicycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In many of these cases, there are solid defenses to the charges which can result in either dismissal of the case or plea bargain in your favor. If you have been charged with a DUI for operating a recreational vehicle while you were drunk, call us today.

Drunk Driving and DUI Metabolite

Did you know you could be charged with a DUI for driving while on prescription medications? Having any measurable controlled substance in your system while operating a vehicle can land you in jail with a DUI Metabolite.  Additionally, being under the influence of marijuana or other illegal drugs while driving can score you a DUI among other potential charges. An increase in recreational drug use often occurs in the summers leading to many drug related DUIs and possession and paraphernalia citations. When charged with these drug related crimes, it is important to have aggressive counsel on your defense to help ensure your case is tried fairly.

Call Today for More Information

A lawyer at our office is available 24/7. Don’t hesitate to call us an schedule a free consultation with a member of our drunk driving defense team in Provo. A Provo DUI defense lawyer at our office can help you get the peace of mind and representation you need. Call or email us now to get started.

Alcohol Partition Rates in Utah DUI Cases

DUI Defense Lawyer

Utah law enforcement and prosecutors and even some judges would have you believe that the Intoxilyzer 8000 – the breathalyzer machine used by Utah law enforcement to detect the blood alcohol content in a person suspected of DUI – is infallible.  When one looks at a little bit of the science behind the Intoxilyzer machine, however, it it evident that it cannot be accurate for every person tested.

Partition Ratio Between Blood and Breath Alcohol

Currently in Utah and throughout the United States it is assumed that for every 2100 alcohol parts found in a person’s breath, there is one alcohol part in the blood, that is, a ratio of 2100:1.  How did we get to this number?  Between 1930 and 1953 several scientists studied partition rates in individuals.  Some found the partition rate to be 1300:1, other found 2100:1, others found 2000:1 and a variety of other partition rates.  In 1953, a committee was appointed by the U.S. National Safety Council which compromised on a 2100:1 ratio.  That is why we have that ratio today.

Why is this important? Because breathalyzer machines used by Utah law enforcement use the 2100:1 ratio as the accepted ratio.  The problem is that not everyone has a 2100:1 ratio.  Some people have lower ratios and others have higher.  By using the 2100:1 ratio, the BAC levels are overestimated in 20% of the population.  That means that 1 out of every 5 people who are charged with a Utah DUI have inflated readings from the breathalyzer machine.

How Do We Fix The Problem?

In order to determine whether your breath test was inflated we have to determine what your true partition rate is. We can do that with the assistance of medical personnel who can draw your blood over the course of several hours after you were drinking. They can test your blood to determine your true partition rate.  If your partition rate falls below that of the assumed 2100:1 your readings will have been inflated and you may have an excellent defense to defeating your DUI.

We Are DUI Defense Attorneys

Our DUI Defense law firm can help you face your DUI charges and fight tooth and nail to beat those charges.  Call us to find out more about our DUI services.

Easter Weekdend DUI Stops | Police Road Blocks

Utah County DUI Defense Attorney

This weekend is Easter and there is no doubt the police agencies will be out in full force throughout the state looking to make DUI arrests. Every Easter weekend, the police in Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, Summit, Weber, and many other counties stop hundreds of vehicles on suspicion of DUI. Indeed, throughout the state you can expect there will be several hundred arrests made for drunk driving. Additionally, you will likely see police set up road blocks near hot Easter vacation spots like the sand dunes in the west desert. Thousands of people flock to the sand dunes over the weekend. It is a known Easter party and the police hope to make many arrests there. If you are charged, speak with a Utah County DUI defense attorney at our law firm as soon as possible.

Easter Weekend Road Blocks

If you run into a road block this weekend, if you are arrested for DUI, call us immediately. Failure to timely follow procedure may result in the loss of your license and other penalties. The police must follow certain rules in order to properly stop you at a road block. Often times, officials fail to follow the rules imposed on them when it comes to stopping and searching your vehicle or asking you to submit to fields sobriety  or breathalyzer tests. You have rights; we can help you protect them.

Alcohol Ticket at the Sand Dunes

In addition to DUIs, many younger people receive alcohol tickets for Minor’s consumption or possession of alcohol at the Sand Dunes and other Easter party sites throughout the state each year. Unfortunately, some minors choose not to fight their ticket and they end up going through a difficult process alone. You do not have to face an alcohol ticket by yourself. We offer payment plans and affordable rates so almost anyone can hire us for their defense. Call to find out more or fill out our email contact form on the right hand side of this page.

Be Safe – Call us if you are arrested.

We hope everyone has a fun and safe Easter weekend. If, however, you are charged with a DUI or other crime such as and alcohol ticket or marijuana possession, phone us right away. Our Provo criminal defense lawyers will help you through the difficult process ahead. You can rest assured you have a team of highly skilled advocates on your side.

Refusing a Breath Test | Provo DUI Lawyer

DUI Tests – What are Your Rights?

Many clients come to our office after being arrested on a DUI in Utah County, either an alcohol related DUI or DUI metabolite, and want to know whether or not they could have refused to submit to any of the tests given to them. In DUI cases, officers will often run you through a variety of tests to determine whether or not you are driving drunk. In almost every case, the first test administered by the officer will be a series of field sobriety tests, followed by a portable breath test, and finally an intoxylizer. In some instances, the police may even ask you to submit to a urinalysis or a blood test. In every case you always have the right to refuse to submit to any test. However, refusing to submit to any DUI test may carry serious consequences.

Effect of Refusal

Under Utah law, by simply driving in the state you implicitly agree to submit to a portable breath test if you are pulled over and suspected of DUI. If you refuse the breath test, under new legislation, your license can be suspended by the Driver’s License Division for potentially longer than if you submitted to the test and were subsequently found guilty of a DUI.

Minors Who Refuse

It gets worse, if you are under the age of 21 and you refuse to submit to a breath test, your license could be suspended for 18 months or until you reach the age of 21. This means that if you are 16 and you refuse a breath test, you could potentially lose your license for 5 years. This could be extremely detrimental to a young person’s ability to attend college or be employed.

Will I be Arrested if I Refuse a Test?

Generally speaking, it is not a crime to refuse a test. However, we have seen cases where the officers arrested the individuals on some other technicality as opposed to the refusal itself.

Free Consultation – 1-801-900-3371

To better understand your rights and to hire a team of dedicated DUI lawyers ready to fight your case, call us today. We offer free consultations over the phone and in our office. If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI, you are facing potentially harsh penalties. Do not go at it alone; get one of our Provo DUI Defense Lawyers on your side today.

Police Cracking Down on DUIs on Super Bowl Sunday

Police throughout Utah have launched a campaign to combat DUIs on Super Bowl Sunday.  The campaign shows a police officer cardboard cutout next to a football player cardboard cutout.  On the football player it reads “Takes down quarterbacks” while next to the police officer it reads “Takes down drunk drivers.”

Super Bowl Sunday is traditionally a heavy drinking day and statistically there is an increase in drunk driving and DUI arrests.  You can bet that law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be on the lookout for drunk drivers and will be waiting to cite as many people for DUI as possible.

In fact, the Utah Highway Patrol conducts what they call DUI saturation pools.  This is when UHP troopers focus heavily on spotting and arresting drunk drivers.

Even local restaurants such as Iggy’s is providing free soda and other non-alcoholic drinks to designated drivers.  Iggy’s has also included the cardboard cutouts in their restaurants to try to get the word out about the anti-drunk driving campaign for Super Bowl Sunday.

Don’t Drink and Drive This Super Bowl Sunday

At Provo DUI Defense we want to remind you to take a cab or get a designated driver if you will be drinking.  Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most exciting days of the year and a day when friends and family can gather around for the biggest game in sports.  It would be a shame to ruin the fun by getting arrested for a DUI.

If You Get Charged Call Us

Inevitably some people will drink and drive and get arrested for DUI this Super Bowl Sunday.  If you fall into this category make sure you give our experienced Provo DUI and DWI lawyers a call at 801.900.3371. We can help you defend your rights against such charges and are extremely successful at helping people keep their driver’s licenses and avoid some of the very stiff penalties related to DUI convictions.