Utah Driver License Division Will Try Everything to Take Your License–Even Ignore the Law!
On July 1, 2009, Ignition Interlock Devices became mandatory on ALL DUI convictions in the State of Utah. An ignition interlock restricted driver cannot operate any vehicle anywhere in the State that does not have an ignition interlock device installed on it. The term vehicle includes things such as boats, four wheelers and other ATV or off-highway vehicles, and snowmobiles, even though you do not need a driver license to operate them legally.
Under Utah Code 41-6a-518.2, for the first DUI conviction, the offender becomes interlock restricted for a period of 18 months. On a second DUI or Impaired Driving conviction, the offender becomes ignition interlock restricted for 3 years. And if you are convicted of a felony DUI, you will be interlock restricted for a period of 6 years. In addition to becoming interlock restricted due to a conviction for DUI, if a driver has his or her license suspended administratively for refusal to submit to a chemical test, he or she becomes interlock restricted for 3 years.
Recently, the Utah Legislature made another major change to the State’s Ignition Interlock law by passing Utah Code 53-3-1007. Starting July 1, 2012, any driver who is ignition interlock restricted will have their driver license suspended for the entire ignition interlock restriction period unless they show proof of installation of the device on their vehicle. The Driver License Division recently flooded the State’s interlock restricted drivers’ mailboxes with a form letter indicating that you have until October 31st to show the DLD proof that you have the device installed in your vehicle, or your license will be suspended. In other words, even if your license has been reinstated, in order to maintain a valid license, you will have to show proof of ignition interlock installation to the DLD before October 31st. On October 31st, any ignition interlock restricted driver who has not provided proof of installation of the device on their vehicle will have the status of their license converted to suspended.
The intended purpose behind this change in the law is an effort to get ignition interlock restricted drivers to install the device rather than simply drive without it. According to DLD officials, a large percentage of the thousands of drivers in Utah who are ignition interlock restricted were driving illegally without the device. Now those drivers will not only be breaking the law because they don’t; have the device, they will also be breaking the law by driving without a license–meaning if caught, they will be subject to two criminal charges, both of which are Class B Misdemeanors punishable by up to 180 days in jail and fines and fees of $1940, plus additional driver license suspension and interlock restriction time. How effective this new law will be in getting interlock restricted drivers to install the device is yet to be seen, but those who drive without it and without a license will certainly be punished more harshly if they are caught. The full code language is below.
If you have received one of these letters, notify your attorney right away to find out what you need to do to be compliant. We can also recommend an ignition interlock installation business for those who need it.
41-6a-518.2. Interlock restricted driver — Penalties for operation without ignition interlock system.
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. http://www.le.utah.gov/code/TITLE53/htm/53_03_100700.htm