Utah law says anyone arrested for a DUI has 10 calendar days to request a DUI hearing. No exceptions are made for weekends, holidays, or any other non-business days. If the DLD does not receive the request before close-of-business on the 10th day, they will deny the request for a hearing. It is very important that the arrestee send in the request as soon as possible. The request can be faxed or mailed, and it is available from Utah Department of Public Safety at this link.
Generally, it is difficult to win the hearing, but it is not impossible. Sometimes people win by default. According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, there were 5,020 DUI hearings during the 2012 year, and in 1,079 of the hearings, the officer failed to appear (a little over one-fifth of the time). Another 644 people won their hearings despite the officer showing-up. The Utah Department of Public Safety does not say, but I bet nearly all of those 644 had a lawyer helping them. Altogether, someone has about a 1 in 3 chance of winning the hearing. Those are not the greatest odds, but without a hearing there is a 100% chance the DLD will suspend.
The length of the suspension depends on the particular charge and whether a person has had previous DUIs. A first time DUI usually carries a 120-day suspension, and the penalties increase from there.
If this sounds a bit complex, well it is. That why you should hire a lawyer to do it for you. A lawyer can do all the work of submitting your request to the Utah Driver’s License Division, as well as preparing for the hearing, and giving you the best chance to keep your driver’s license.
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