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Utah Driving Laws

Due to the different environments and specific conditions of each state in the country, we do not have nationwide driving laws. It's up to each state government to come up with their own laws. Although many states have the same basic driving laws, there are always a few that people haven't heard of. Here's a look at some of important Utah driving laws that you should be aware of:

  • Like many other states in the country, Utah has adopted some cell-phone restriction driving laws. Formed under their "Careless Driving" laws, the state limits the use of cell phones while driving to those that employ hand-free talking and listening features. In other words, you can only use your cell phone while driving if you have a headset or some other form of hand-free communications. Other careless driving laws restrict driver actions such as eating, drinking, smoking, and even grooming.
  • With some drivers testing the limits of Utah's cell phone driving laws, the state recently passed a text message specific law. Writing, reading, or sending a text message while driving is now illegal under Utah law, much to the chagrin of the state's teenage population. Officers can pull over anyone they catch sending a text message and drivers face a $70 fine for the crime. Also of note, if texting while driving causes an accident, the driver could have their license suspended or even face jail time.
  • Do you plan on taking out a Utah auto loan to purchase a vehicle for your child? Young drivers have many restrictions that both parents and children should be aware of. For instance, persons under 17 cannot legally drive from 12AM to 5AM unless accompanied by a passenger over the age of 21. Also, until the driver is 18 years old or had their license for at least 6 months, they are not allowed to operate a vehicle with a passenger, unless that passenger is a family member or over the age of 21.
  • Unlike many other states, there is no grace period for new residents to obtain a Utah driver's license. Once you've established residence in the state or began employment, you are expected to obtain a valid Utah driver's license. Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as for students attending college out of state or those on military assignment.
  • As you probably know, driving under the influence is a serious offense no matter where you live. Utah is no different, with fines of over $700 and a minimum of 48 hours jail time for first time offenders. Most people also have their licenses revoked or severely restricted. Due to all of the fines, lawyer fees, and insurance increases associated with DUI's, the average offense could easily cost you over $5,000.