Utah Alcohol Misdemeanors and Felony Penalties

Utah’s alcohol laws may be well known for their far-reaching restrictions, but the penalties for breaking these laws are widely unknown to many inside and outside the state. While most of the penalties for breaking a Utah alcohol law are misdemeanors, there are cases where you could face felony charges.

As Utah’s most trusted DUI and criminal defense law office, we here at Kelly Cardon & Associates feel it is our duty to share information regarding these alcohol laws and their penalties. Let us fill you in on the specifics of Utah’s alcohol penalties.

Utah Alcohol Misdemeanors Explained

Most of the alcohol laws are accompanied by a class A, B, or C misdemeanor if broken. The severity of these crimes vary, as do the fines and jail time that follow.

Not everything is a crime in Utah, though. For example, despite Utah’s reputation for tough alcohol laws, it is not illegal to be drunk in public. Utah’s public intoxication laws are surprisingly lenient and you will only be charged if you are a danger to yourself or others when in a public area. If you are determined to be a danger to yourself or others and you feel you are not, there are many defenses you can raise in court. Public intoxication is a class C misdemeanor in Utah.

Other, more serious alcohol-related crimes are related to underage drinking. Utah has taken many steps toward preventing alcohol abuse in minors and their penalties show they are serious about the issue. Minors who violate this law are handed a class B misdemeanor for the first offense and can carry a hefty $1,000 fine along with it. Additionally, the minor’s driver’s license will be suspended for one year.

Even more serious than a minor breaking Utah’s alcohol laws are when a legal drinking age adult provides alcohol to a minor. If the adult is unaware the minor is underage, they could face a class B misdemeanor, a $1,000 fine, and possibly six months of jail time. If the adult is fully aware of the minor’s age, then the misdemeanor will be raised to class A, which carries a $2,500 fine and the possibility of one year in jail.

Felonies

Alcohol laws in Utah are rarely accompanied by a felony charge. However, there are certain circumstances where you can face a felony charge related to alcohol use. For example, while your first two DUI charges within a ten year period are charged as misdemeanors, your third DUI charges in ten years will result in a third-degree felony charge.

Additionally, if a DUI results in the death of another person, you can be charged with murder, a first-degree felony charge in Utah. The best way to avoid an alcohol-related misdemeanor or felony is to drink responsibly and always drive sober.

How We Can Help

If you have been charged with Utah alcohol misdemeanors or a felony, we can help. We have extensive knowledge about Utah’s alcohol misdemeanor and felony laws which can help you fight your charge. You can contact us here or call us at 801.627.1110 if you’re in Northern Utah or 801.328.1110 if you’re in the greater Salt Lake City area.