Ignition Interlock Violations are very serious and can carry the same or greater consequences than the DUI that got the person restricted in the first place!
What is an ignition interlock device?
Utah, like many states, has adopted the use of ignition interlock devices as a way to try to combat recidivism (repeat offending) by previously convicted drunk drivers and minors. An ignition interlock device is in essence a breath testing machine that is installed in your own vehicle and that will not let you start the vehicle if it detects a certain level of alcohol in your system (typically set at .02). (UCA 41-6a-518) If the machine detects an alcohol level greater that the set amount, it will disable the vehicle and it will not start. The cost for the device is approximately $75-85 per month plus installation costs of $50-100 on average.
How does one become an Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver?
An ignition interlock restricted driver is a person who cannot legally operate a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device. (UCA 41-6a-518.2) In order to become classified as an ignition interlock restricted driver, a person must either be under the age of 21 (then they are automatically an alcohol restricted driver by virtue of their age), or they must have had their driver license suspended for a DUI- or alcohol-related driving offense, or they have been previously convicted of a DUI or Impaired Driving charge in Utah. Interlock restrictions can be imposed by a Court as a condition of a sentence or they can be imposed statutorily by the Driver License Division if a DUI or other alcohol-related driving conviction is reported to the Driver License Division. In fact, starting on July 1, 2009, any person convicted of DUI in Utah is automatically classified as an ignition interlock restricted driver for 18 months on a first conviction and 3 years for a second conviction within 10 years. A new law was passed that went into affect in July of 2012 which states that if you are an ignition interlock restricted driver, you will have to show proof the device was installed in your car, and if you don’t show proof, your driver license can and will be suspended during the entire ignition interlock period until you show proof the device was installed in your vehicle. (UCA 53-3-1007)
Consequences of Getting Caught Driving Without an Ignition Interlock Device
An Ignition Interlock 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 without an ignition interlock device when you are interlock restricted you will also lose your driver license for a period of 1 year and your ignition interlock restriction period will be extended by 3 more years!!! (UCA 53-3-220)
Arrested for an Ignition Interlock Violation
We can help you avoid or reduce the serious consequences of an Ignition Interlock 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 ignition interlock 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, and 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.
Ignition Interlock Codes
- 41-6a-518. Ignition interlock devices — Use — Probationer to pay cost — Impecuniosity — Fee.
- 41-6a-518.2. Interlock restricted driver — Penalties for operation without ignition interlock system.
- 53-3-220. Offenses requiring mandatory revocation, denial, suspension, or disqualification of license — Offense requiring an extension of period — Hearing — Limited driving privileges.
- 53-3-1007. Ignition interlock system provider — Notification to the division upon installation or removal of an ignition interlock system — License suspension or revocation for failure to install or remove.