Diver’s license issues are one of the most common concerns people have when they are charged with DUI. It is important that you understand the importance of acting quickly to save your license if you are arrested for DUI. You should also understand that there are two venues where consequences can lead to a driver license suspension: The Driver License Division and the Criminal Court. This post will cover the information you need to know about the Driver License Division.
Driver License Division (DLD)
If you have been arrested in Utah for DUI, the police officer has a duty to inform you about your right to a Driver License Hearing. You have ten calendar days from the day of your arrest to request a Driver License Hearing. Once your request has been made, the DLD must hold your hearing within 30 days of your arrest unless there is good cause to do otherwise.
This hearing is an opportunity for you to challenge your driver’s license suspension. A DLD employee, called a Hearing Officer, will conduct a hearing at which the police officer will testify and you or your attorney will have an opportunity to cross-examine the police officer. You will also have an opportunity to testify. You should always consult with an attorney before testifying at a DLD hearing to evaluate your risk of making incriminating statements that could harm your criminal case.
Standard of Proof
The hearing officer will determine whether the police officer has reasonable grounds to believe that you were in violation of the DUI statute. The standard of proof “reasonable grounds” is a very low standard of proof. Much lower that the criminal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and lower than “clear and convincing” or even “preponderance of the evidence.” Reasonable grounds is not defined. It probably means something like, “to the hearing officer’s satisfaction.” This is a very low standard, which means that it is easy for police officers to meet their burden and most of the time the DLD will suspend a person’s license. You may wonder if it is even worth requesting a hearing if the standard of proof is so hard to overcome. Another benefit to having a hearing is that your attorney has an opportunity to cross-examine the police officer. Any information your attorney can get out to the police officer at the DLD hearing may be helpful for your court case.
Driver License Suspension
The DLD will suspend your license for 120 days for a first offense if any of the following occur:
- You fail to request a DLD hearing within 10 days of your arrest
- You fail to show up at your scheduled hearing
- The hearing officer finds that the police officer had reasonable grounds to believe you were violating the DUI law.
The DLD will not suspend your license if any of the following occur:
- You request a hearing, show up, and the police officer fails to appear
- The hearing officer finds that the police officer did not have reasonable grounds to believe you were violating the DUI law.
If you are facing a DUI charge in Utah you should contact a Utah DUI Attorney to see how this charge can affect your driver license.