What Are The Laws Regarding Interlock Ignition System?
Does Utah Ever Employ The Use Of The Interlock Ignition System? How, When And Why?
Yes, you do have the Ignition Interlock System in Utah.
One of the first ways to get the ignition interlock system is being convicted of the DUI, even if it’s a first offense. If you are convicted of DUI, the charge does not reduce down to anything less than you’re going to have an ignition interlock requirement on your vehicle for a period of 18 months.
That is a function of the driver’s license division; it can be a function of the court but typically if you go into court and you get a conviction of DUI and you’re 0.08 and you just plead guilty, the judge is not going to order an ignition interlock device be installed on the car.
The conviction will get reported to the driver’s license division and then driver’s license division will send out a letter saying, “Your license is suspended until you prove to us that you have the ignition interlock device installed on your car”.
A lot of people get caught up in that problem because they never get the letter, or they move or their mail doesn’t get forwarded. So they end up driving around and they think they are complying with all the court orders. But when they get pulled over and the officer goes, “Well, where is your interlock device”, and the driver goes, “What are you talking about? I am not supposed to have that. The judge never ordered me to have an ignition interlock device”, and they are correct, the judge didn’t but the driver’s license division says, “You do need one”.
That’s then a huge problem for a lot of people. They come to see an attorney then and ask about this, “How come I have to have this? The judge’s never said I had to have it”.
An Ignition Interlock System can also be required on a first offense DUI if the person was under the influence of prescription drugs or street drugs. It might not even be alcohol and that happens all the time. People will visit an attorney and say, “Well, my DUI wasn’t even alcohol-related; it was for marijuana and I don’t even drink but I still have to have this ignition interlock device on my car for 18 months and I didn’t even know about it.” That’s how a lot of people get that.
Part of the problem with that is you have to pay for an ignition interlock device, pay for it to be installed on the car and then you have to rent the equipment and it gets pretty costly. However, if you are convicted of it, not only do you face fines and exposure to jail time but you could also result in a year suspension of your driver’s license.
If you went to court on it and you pled guilty thinking you were going to get a fine, that conviction would be reported to the driver’s license division. They would send you another letter that you might not ever get and it would tell you, “Well, your license is suspended now for a year because you were convicted of the ignition interlock violation”.
That’s the way a lot of people get it. They can get it by a judge. The judges ordered to have it installed on people who plead guilty of DUI where their blood alcohol level is 0.16 or higher. So, it’s kind of an aggravating factor in the DUI but at least the judge is telling you in the court order, go and get this installed on your car so at least you know about it.
Another way someone can have a second conviction and a second conviction is a mandatory requirement to have the ignition interlock installed on the car. That can be court ordered but it’s mainly driver’s license division requirement.
People get in trouble with that if their first conviction, which was 9 years ago, may have been for impaired driving and the second conviction might be reduced down from DUI to impaired driving also. In a situation like that, the judge wouldn’t order the driver to have an ignition interlock on an impaired driving but the impaired driving conviction would get reported to driver’s license division.
The driver’s license division would see, “Well, this is their second conviction in 10 years, they have to have an ignition interlock on their car”, so once again they send out the letter and whether the driver gets it or not, they’ll get pulled over and the officer will say, “Well, where’s your ignition interlock device?”
Again, if they never got the letter from the driver’s license division, they don’t know they can get arrested or they can get their car impounded.
Although the ignition interlock can probably save people’s lives, they need a better way of implementing it in Utah because a lot of people come to attorneys asking me for help on this, they didn’t even know they were supposed to have it. The worst part is that it has some pretty big fines tied with it. It can be $1,700 to $1,800 fine for not having that installed on your car and the license suspension that goes along with it is pretty harsh too.
Get information about the Laws Regarding Interlock Ignition System In Utah, or call the law office of Attorney Matthew Nebeker for a free initial consultation at (801) 477-5009 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.