This is an archived article that was published on in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah's impaired-driving law is pretty straightforward.

• It's against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol.

• You are considered legally drunk when you are in physical control of a vehicle and have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher.

• You can't drink any alcoholic beverage while driving or as a passenger in a motor vehicle at any time. And you can't carry an open container of alcohol in the passenger compartment of a vehicle.

But many drivers might ask how many drinks it takes to be impaired. This, of course, varies by the individual and can be affected by age, gender, physical condition, food consumed and medication. Also, different mixed drinks contain different amounts of alcohol.

But, for the average person, there is some impairment after one-half to two drinks. As few as three of the right kinds of drinks can raise the blood alcohol level to 0.08 percent. In that case, the average risk of a crash is 10 times more than normal for adult and 70 to 80 times normal for someone under 21.

Costs of getting a DUI can be severe.

According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, fine and court fees can cost as much as $1,200. A towing-impound-and-registration fee can cost $350. Lawyers typically charge $1,200. There is a $350 fine for an education and treatment fund, $200 cost for driver license and $2,500 for an ignition interlock system for three years. Insurance costs can skyrocket to as much as $4,000 a year. Thus, a DUI could cost as much as $10,100.

If you get a DUI in Utah, you will go to jail where you will be booked, fingerprinted and stay until you see a judge or make bail. Your car will be impounded. A first-time offender will have his or her driver license suspended for 120 days. If you refuse a breath test, you will lose your driver license for 18 months and officers can obtain a warrant to forcibly draw your blood. If you are drinking and under 21, you will lose your license for one year or until you turn 21, whichever is longer.

Such arrests are fairly common. In 2009, for example, more than 15,000 people were arrested for DUI in Utah.