What Is an Alcohol Restriction or Alcohol Restricted Driver?
An Alcohol restricted driver is a person who cannot legally operate a motor with any measurable or detectable amount of alcohol in their body (UCA 41-6a-530). Utah, like many states, has adopted laws that prohibit DUI offenders form operating a vehicle with ANY amount of alcohol in their body whatsoever. In other words, if you are alcohol restricted, your legal limit of alcohol to drive is .000!! (UCA 41-6a-530) This alcohol restriction applies not only to operating a car, but also to opearting all other motor vehicles, including but limited to boats, four-wheelers, OHVs, snowmobiles, motorized scooters, and airplanes.
How Does Someone Become an Alcohol Restricted Driver?
In order to become classified as an Alcohol restricted driver, a person must either be under the age of 21 (when he or she is automatically an alcohol restricted driver by virtue of age) or the person must have had his or her driver license suspended for a DUI or alcohol-related driving offense or have been previously convicted of a DUI or Impaired Driving charge in Utah. Depending on the basis for the alcohol restriction being imposed and your prior driving and criminal history, the alcohol restriction period can be from as little as 2 years for a first offender up to LIFE! for a driver convicted of a Felony DUI. If you have questions about whether you are an Alcohol Restricted Driver or not, it is always best to consult with an experienced DUI and criminal attorney familiar with the laws and review your driver and criminal history to determine if in fact you are an alcohol restricted driver, as the basis for the restriction and the time period of the restriction vary considerably.
Getting Caught Driving with a Measurable Amount of Alcohol in Body
Alcohol Restricted Violations are very serious and can carry the same or greater consequences than the DUI that got the person restricted in the first place. An Alcohol Restricted Driver violation is a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by 0-180 days in jail and a minimum fine of $750 but up to $1940. In addition to jail and fines, if you are convicted of driving a car with a measureable or detectable amount of alcohol in your body when you are alcohol restricted, you will also lose your driver license for a period of 1 year, and your alcohol restriction period will be extended by 3 more years!!! (UCA 41-6a-529)
What If I Am Arrested for an Alcohol Violation?
We can help you avoid or reduce the serious consequences of an Alcohol violation!! Occasionally the driver license division computer system does not apply the interlock laws correctly, resulting in a driver being classified as an interlock restricted driver when in fact they are not. The first thing we do is verify whether the DLD has correctly classified you as an Alcohol Restricted Driver.
We can also fight some of these violations by arguing that the initial traffic stop that resulted in your arrest was not lawful in the first place; therefore, the evidence the officer gathered when he stopped you cannot be used against you in court, resulting in a dismissal of the charge.
Finally, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, as well as your driver and criminal history, we may be able to avoid a conviction and the driver license consequences of the violation by negotiating a plea in abeyance agreement with the prosecutor that would result in a dismissal of the charge following successful completion of probation and preventing a conviction from being entered and reported to the DLD.