Does Utah Implement Ignition Interlock After DUI Convictions?

Yes, on a first DUI conviction. The driver’s license division will order that your license be suspended until you have the ignition interlock installed. A court also has the discretion regarding whether or not to have the interlock installed. If the driver had a .16 blood alcohol level or higher, then the court will require that the ignition interlock device be installed.

So In A Prescription Drug Case, That Wouldn’t Necessarily Happen Then?

No, I should have explained further. That’s the big problem here. A lot of people who get convicted of prescription drug DUI will get a letter from the driver’s license division saying, “You were convicted of DUI. You have to have this ignition interlock installed on your vehicle.” It’s a crazy thing, and that kind of ties back into that question about whether they make a distinction on your background check between drug- and alcohol-related DUI. And the answer is no, because the same thing happens here with the ignition interlock device. If the person is convicted, the computer just automatically sends over the conviction to the driver’s license division. They then send out a letter saying that your license is suspended until you get this ignition interlock on your car.

That Could Be Very Frustrating, I’m Sure.

Well, yeah, because if you don’t even use alcohol—and a lot of our people don’t—you still have to have this machine in your car that’s very expensive, and it’s a hassle. I think they cause a safety risk sometimes in and of themselves, because people will be driving down the freeway and the thing will go off, and then they have to start blowing into it while at the same time trying to make their way through rush-hour traffic or something.

That Does Sound Crazy.

Yeah.

Like, “Don’t Drink And Drive And Don’t Talk On Your Cell Phone, But We’re Going To Completely Distract You.”

Yeah, yeah. “If we catch you texting on your cell phone, we’re going to pull you over and give you a citation for that, but you’d better blow into that machine so your car doesn’t stop on the interstate.”

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