Utah DUI–Saving Your Driver’s License

If you are arrested for DUI, one of the first things you have to deal with is your license. Normally, an officer will take your Utah driver’s license and issue you a citation. That citation will tell most people that the citation acts as a driver’s license for 29 days. In small print at the bottom of that citation, it will tell you that you have to request a hearing with in 10 days of your arrest. The DMV is sticklers on this point. Do this request within 10 days or you have no chance. Recently, the law was changed so you cannot appeal the DMV action of taking your license if you do not make that request within the 10 days. Even if you are one day late, the DMV will take your license.

Once the request is made, a notice will be sent to you (and your lawyer if you have hired one) telling you the hearing date and time. This hearing has to be given to you prior to your temporary driving privileges being suspended, which is with in the 29 days.

Most of these hearings are conducted by telephone. Recently, the DMV has restricted the due process in these hearings. The officer will testify first and tell the hearing judge what happened from his point of view. The citizen is then given an opportunity to testify. The citizen (or lawyer) will then make a closing statement of why you should not lose your license. The restriction that has recently come in to play is that the attorney or citizen has no right to cross examine the arresting officer. The officer can say whatever he wants without being questioned about it.

You will not receive a ruling or decision that day. You will receive the decision by mail within one or two weeks. If the department takes action on your license and suspends it, you may already be suspended by the time you get the letter. Do not drive after the 29 days have expired.

Chances of Winning: At this level, your chances of winning are very poor. Sometimes there is a small chance the officer will not show up. This rarely happens anymore. If you want to pursue your driver’s license, you must file an appeal with the District Court and ask the District Court to overturn the DMV’s ruling. Your chances of winning at this stage increase greatly. I suggest having a lawyer throughout each stage of this process.

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