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Alcohol-Related Reckless Driving

Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44(8), (9) and § 41-6-45 provides for certain penalties and punishments for the alcohol-related version of reckless driving. Under Utah’s laws, any person who “operates a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” is guilty of reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor. Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-45(1)(a). Normally, when someone is charged with reckless driving, the allegation has nothing to do with the consumption of drugs or alcohol.

When the prosecutor agrees to reduce a charge of DUI down to reckless driving, it is usually done by designating the reckless driving as an alcohol-related offense. Entering a plea to the reduced charge of alcohol-related reckless driving after an arrest for DUI is not necessarily in a person’s best interest. In certain cases it may be more advantageous to fight the criminal charges for a reduction to a non-alcohol related offense, an outright dismissal, or a non-guilty verdict at trial.

Salt Lake City Attorney for Alcohol-Related Reckless Driving Charges

Many people arrested for DUI are interested in information on alcohol-related reckless driving pleas. Contact Darren M. Levitt to discuss your case if you are charged with a reckless driving or any DUI related crime in the greater Salt Lake City-Ogden metropolitan area, which includes Salt Lake, Davis, and Weber counties.

Advantages to Pleading to an Alcohol Related Reckless Driving charge instead of a DUI?

The District Attorney Attorney’s Office for Salt Lake County touts the advantages of entering a plea to alcohol related reckless driving this way:

With a plea to alcohol related reckless driving “the mandatory fines and jail time under DUI sentencing do not apply. However, the Drivers License Division is still notified and an Alcohol Related Reckless Driving conviction is treated the same as a DUI conviction in subsequent convictions for DUI. In other words, if you have a prior Alcohol Related Reckless Driving, and then you commit the crime of DUI, the Alcohol Related Reckless Driving counts as a prior conviction and you are now subject to the increased mandatory jail and fines.”

Reduction from DUI to Alcohol-Related Reckless Driving

Utah law allows a defendant charged with DUI to plead guilty to reckless driving as a substitute for, or in satisfaction of, a DUI charge if the prosecutor agrees as part of a negotiated plea. In many ways, the collateral consequences of a plea to alcohol-related reckless driving are similar to a conviction for DUI.

This procedure of reducing DUI to alcohol-related reckless driving has become known as “alcohol-related reckless driving.” When a person enters a plea to the offense of alcohol-related reckless driving, the prosecutor is required to state on the record in open court whether the person had consumed alcohol or drugs in connection with the violation.

The offense has many of the same consequences of a DUI conviction because alcohol-related reckless driving is considered a prior conviction for purposes of enhancing a third or subsequent DUI charge to a felony. The provisions in Utah’s DUI laws regarding treatment, education, assessment and screening apply to alcohol-related reckless driving convictions.

Additional Resources

Salt Lake City DUI Attorney – read more about charges for DUI and alcohol related offenses such as reckless driving, impaired driving, drugged driving, and driving with any measurable controlled substance in the body.

Statutory Language of Reckless Driving – Find additional information on the official web site for the Utah State Legislature on reckless driving including the statutory language, statutory maximum penalties and punishments, minimum mandatory provisions, and standard jury instructions.

Finding a Qualified Attorney in Salt Lake City for Reckless Driving Offenses

If you are charged with DUI, drugged DUI, or other driving related crimes such as reckless driving, then contact Salt Lake City’s criminal defense attorney, Darren Levitt, to discuss the particular facts and circumstances of your case. Darren Levitt represents clients charged with alcohol-related reckless driving offenses throughout the greater Salt Lake City-Ogden metropolitan area, which includes Salt Lake County, Weber County and Davis County, Utah.

Updated December 14, 2012. Contributor: 

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