Reasons to Hire an Attorney – Ignition Interlock Driver Violation

Hiring an attorney experienced with defending Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver violations may be the only truly effective way to avoid the mandatory one year suspension of your driver license.  Here at Saunders Law, we routinely defend against Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver charges that the State of Utah has brought against our clients.

While it is rare, occasionally the Driver License Division (DLD) mistakenly places an Ignition Interlock Restriction on a person’s driver license even though that person is not Ignition Interlock restricted.  Also, occasionally the DLD forgets to lift an Ignition Interlock Restriction on a person’s driver license even though that person’s period of restriction has already lapsed.  In these situations, an experienced attorney will be able to obtain the DLD’s records and successfully challenge the charges brought by the State of Utah early on in the criminal proceedings, resulting in the charges being dismissed.

Assuming that the person charged with the Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver violation was in fact alcohol restricted, an attorney at Saunders Law can challenge the initial traffic stop through filing a motion to suppress the State’s evidence.  In that motion, and subsequent evidentiary hearing, the attorney will argue that the police officer lacked “reasonable, articulable suspicion” that the driver committed the underlining traffic offense.  If the attorney successfully is able to argue that the initial traffic stop was unlawful, all of the State’s evidence against the driver will be suppressed and the charges will be dismissed, including the Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver offense.

Lastly, depending on the facts of your case, an attorney at Saunders Law may be able to successfully negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor, typically a plea in abeyance agreement.  By entering into a plea in abeyance agreement, the client would initially plead guilty or no contest to the charge of driving without an Ignition Interlock system while being an Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver .  Then, if the driver successfully completes probation, the guilty charge will be stricken by the court and the charge will be dismissed.  Since the Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver violation is dismissed, the DLD will not suspend the person’s driver license.

Driver License Penalties – Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver Violation

In Utah, if you are convicted of driving without an installed Ignition Interlock System while you are Ignition Interlock Restricted, your license will automatically be suspended for a period of one year. Considering that a conviction for a first offense DUI only carries a 120 day suspension, a one year driver license suspension for an Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver violation is especially severe.

In addition to the one year suspension, a conviction for an Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver violation will result in an additional three years being added to the current period that you are Ignition Interlock Restricted.

Criminal Charges – Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver Violation

If you have an Ignition Interlock restriction on your driver license, you may not operate any vehicle without an installed Ignition Interlock System (UCA § 41-6a-518.2). If you are charged with an Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver violation and subsequently convicted, the penalties can be equal to, or greater than, a DUI conviction.

In Utah, similar to a first offense DUI, an Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver violation is a class B Misdemeanor.  A class B Misdemeanor is punishable with a fine up to $1940 and a jail term of up to 180 days. Additionally, if you are convicted of an Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver offense, you will face additional driver license penalties.

Duration – Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver

The period that a driver is Ignition Interlock Restricted varies dramatically depending on the underlying conviction that triggered the alcohol restriction. Pursuant to Utah law, a driver will be Ignition Interlock Restricted for the following periods of time, based on the following offenses:

Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver for an Eighteen Month Period:

Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver for a Three Year Period:

Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver for a Six Year Period:

Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver for a Ten Year Period:

  • Automobile Homicide (UCA § 76-5-207).

Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver

In Utah, if you are an Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver, you may not legally operate a motor vehicle without an Ignition Interlock System (UCA § 41-6a-518.2).

There are two main ways one becomes an Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver: first, you have been charged with, and convicted of, driving under the influence (DUI); or second, you refuse to submit to a chemical test.

If you are an Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver due to a DUI conviction, you cannot drive without an Ignition Interlock System for an eighteen month period (or more) following your conviction. Similarly, if you are an a Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver due to a Refusal, you cannot drive without an Ignition Interlock System for a three year period following your conviction.

As an Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver, you obviously cannot operate a car without an Ignition Interlock System.  However, what many people do not know is that you also cannot operate a boat, snowmobile, motorcycle, airplane, or any other motorized vehicle without an Ignition Interlock System as an Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver.

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