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Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Utah alcohol laws for minors under 21

Beginning July 1, 2011, the Utah laws have changed with regards to alcohol convictions for Minors in Possession of Alcohol.  Previously, the courts lacked any discretion to allow a minor to regain a suspended drivers license.  Now, a minor may be eligible to motion the court to reinstate his or her license after completing counseling and if the Minor meets other qualifications.

The purpose of Utah's MIP (minor in possession/consumption) law is to deter minors (under 21) from engaging in alcohol-related criminal acts which may later result in serious consequences. The Penalties for MIP violations are determined by the statutes below and the date of the offense.
For offenses committed on or before June 30, 2011:
32A-12-209 (Repealed 07/01/11). Unlawful purchase, possession, consumption by minors -- Measurable amounts in body.
(1) Unless specifically authorized by this title, it is unlawful for a minor to:
(a) purchase an alcoholic beverage or product;
(b) attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage or product;
(c) solicit another person to purchase an alcoholic beverage or product;
(d) possess an alcoholic beverage or product;
(e) consume an alcoholic beverage or product; or
(f) have measurable blood, breath, or urine alcohol concentration in the minor's body. (***This means any detectable amount)
(2) It is unlawful for the purpose of purchasing or otherwise obtaining an alcoholic beverage or product for a minor for:
(a) a minor to misrepresent the minor's age; or
(b) any other person to misrepresent the age of a minor.
(3) It is unlawful for a minor to possess or consume an alcoholic beverage while riding in a limousine or chartered bus.
***Enhancement
(4) If a minor is found by a court to have violated this section and the violation is the minor's second or subsequent violation of this section, the court:
(a) shall order the minor to participate in an educational series as defined in Section 41-6a-501; and
(b) may order the minor to participate in a screening as defined in Section 41-6a-501.
***Sentencing
(5) (a) When a minor who is at least 18 years old, but younger than 21 years old, is found by a court to have violated this section, except as provided in Section 32A-12-223, the court hearing the case shall suspend the minor's driving privileges under Section 53-3-219.
(b) Notwithstanding the provision in Subsection (5)(a), the court may reduce the suspension period required under Section 53-3-219 if:
(i) the violation is the minor's first violation of this section; and
(ii) the minor completes an educational series as defined in Section 41-6a-501.

(6) When a minor who is at least 13 years old, but younger than 18 years old, is found by the court to have violated this section, Section 78A-6-606 applies to the violation.
(7) When a court issues an order suspending a person's driving privileges for a violation of this section, the Driver License Division shall suspend the person's license under Section 53-3-219.
(8) When the Department of Public Safety receives the arrest or conviction record of a person for a driving offense committed while the person's license is suspended pursuant to this section, the Department of Public Safety shall extend the suspension for an additional like period of time.
(9) This section does not apply to a minor's consumption of an alcoholic beverage or product in accordance with this title:
(a) for medicinal purposes if:
(i) the minor is at least 18 years old; or
(ii) the alcoholic beverage or product is furnished by:
(A) the parent or guardian of the minor; or
(B) the minor's physician or dentist; or
(b) as part of a church's or religious organization's religious services.
For offenses committed on or after July 01, 2011:
32B-4-409 (Effective 07/01/11). Unlawful purchase, possession, consumption by minor -- Measurable amounts in body.
(1) Unless specifically authorized by this title, it is unlawful for a minor to:
(a) purchase an alcoholic product;
(b) attempt to purchase an alcoholic product;
(c) solicit another person to purchase an alcoholic product;
(d) possess an alcoholic product;
(e) consume an alcoholic product; or
(f) have measurable blood, breath, or urine alcohol concentration in the minor's body ***(this means any detectable amount).
(2) It is unlawful for the purpose of purchasing or otherwise obtaining an alcoholic product for a minor for:
(a) a minor to misrepresent the minor's age; or
(b) any other person to misrepresent the age of a minor.
(3) It is unlawful for a minor to possess or consume an alcoholic product while riding in a limousine or chartered bus.
***Enhancement
(4) If a minor is found by a court to have violated this section and the violation is the minor's second or subsequent violation of this section, the court:
(a) shall order the minor to participate in an educational series as defined in Section 41-6a-501; and
(b) may order the minor to participate in a screening as defined in Section 41-6a-501.
***Sentencing
(5) (a) When a minor who is at least 18 years old, but younger than 21 years old, is found by a court to have violated this section, except as provided in Section 32B-4-411, the court hearing the case shall suspend the minor's driving privileges under Section 53-3-219.
(b) Notwithstanding the provision in Subsection (5)(a), the court may reduce the suspension period required under Section 53-3-219 if:
(i) the violation is the minor's first violation of this section; and
(ii) the minor completes an educational series as defined in Section 41-6a-501.
(6) When a minor who is at least 13 years old, but younger than 18 years old, is found by the court to have violated this section, Section 78A-6-606 applies to the violation.
(7) When a court issues an order suspending a person's driving privileges for a violation of this section, the Driver License Division shall suspend the person's license under Section 53-3-219.
(8) When the Department of Public Safety receives the arrest or conviction record of a person for a driving offense committed while the person's license is suspended pursuant to this section, the Department of Public Safety shall extend the suspension for an additional like period of time.
(9) This section does not apply to a minor's consumption of an alcoholic product in accordance with this title:
(a) for medicinal purposes if:
(i) the minor is at least 18 years old; or
(ii) the alcoholic product is furnished by:
(A) the parent or guardian of the minor; or
(B) the minor's health care practitioner, if the health care practitioner is authorized by law to write a prescription; or
(b) as part of a religious organization's religious services.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a Minor in Possession of Alcohol you need to contact an attorney and learn your rights and possible consequences.  Call Wayne Caldwell at Bearnson & Caldwell for your free consultation now.  435-752-6300.



51 comments:

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