When Utah drivers get charged with driving under the influence (DUI), they often haven’t planned to break the law. Although they may drive to their destination knowing they’ll have a few drinks, the goal is to sober up in time to drive home safely. Car accidents and DUI charges often occur because drivers are drunk but feel they have no other option but to drive home.
House Bill 139
The state of Utah has considered this issue and come up with a new law to remedy it. Drivers used to be at risk for receiving a DUI, even if they were napping in their vehicle while drunk. The new law protects drunk people from receiving a DUI if they’re asleep in their vehicle as long as they’re not in the driver’s seat, the engine is off, they’re lawfully parked, and they didn’t drive to their destination while intoxicated.
With this new law, drunk people can feel safe when making the right decision to sober up before driving. They can take a nap in their vehicle before driving home from a friend’s house, a social event, or a bar. The state of Utah hopes this law will not only prevent DUI charges but will ultimately prevent a deadly car wreck in SLC or Provo from occurring.
Another New DUI Law
Another law enacted by Utah lawmakers harshens the punishment for drivers who refuse blood testing when charged with driving under the influence. When a judge ordered a blood test in the past, officers sometimes had to physically restrain the plaintiff to get the blood necessary for testing.
Now, if an individual refuses a blood test, they’re automatically charged with a DUI and given the harshest punishment. This relieves the pressure on law enforcement to administer blood testing.
Utah is Addressing Major Issues. Will Other States Follow?
It’s clear that Utah is taking the necessary steps to prevent drunk driving and tighten up the criminal system surrounding DUI charges. Every law enacted has addressed an issue within the system to save lives and make the lives of law enforcement easier. If these laws prove successful, we hope other states will follow suit so we can see the nation become safer and more secure.
If you live in Utah, knowing these laws can be helpful. The next time you feel tipsy and are questioning whether to drive home, take a nap in your vehicle and be safe rather than sorry.