In Utah, one consequence of a DUI conviction is navigating ignition interlock device laws in Utah and learning how to use them properly. Learn what they are and how they work.
An ignition interlock device, also known as a car breathalyzer, is meant to prevent users from driving under the influence of alcohol. These small, handheld devices connect your breathalyzer results to your car ignition and consist of a handheld unit, a mouthpiece, a relay cord and a camera unit. They are easy to use and are required for those with DUI charges in Utah.
Each device is a bit different, and any device should come equipped with instructions for use. Follow the instructions carefully for the most accurate reading. Every device will essentially require users to blow into the handheld unit.
Some ignition interlock devices use the blow-inhale-blow method. This is the most accurate as well as the most user-friendly. In this method, users must blow into the mouthpiece, then inhale without removing their mouth from the mouthpiece, then blow into the mouthpiece again. Accuracy is crucial, especially for those who need to use this device to comply with ignition interlock device laws, so choosing the right type of breathalyzer that will not produce false positives is crucial.
Other ignition interlock devices utilize the straight blow method, in which the user must blow into the mouthpiece with extreme force. Another type of test uses the blow and hum method. Both of these types of tests are difficult for users to consistently complete, which can disrupt the accuracy of the results and leave a user locked out unnecessarily.
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It’s important to thoroughly understand Utah’s ignition interlock device laws if you are facing a DUI charge. Working with a lawyer like Branson West Law who is well-versed in Utah DUI defense can help you properly prepare for your court date.
After a DUI arrest in Utah, your driver’s license will be at risk for suspension. You will then have ten days to schedule a hearing with your local DMV for a chance to retain your driving rights. This process is separate from your official court date for your DUI charge but is a crucial step in protecting your right to drive. If you contact the court but do not contact the driver’s license division within 10 calendar days you will lose your license automatically.
One reason to have an ignition interlock device installed in Utah is if you miss your window for scheduling a DMV hearing. If this occurs, your license will be suspended automatically on the 45th day after your DUI arrest. This suspension usually lasts four months, but in some cases an interlock device can be used rather than losing your license.
Separate from the DMV case is the judicial case. Once you attend court for your DUI charges, the judge will assign the penalties. In some cases, these penalties include the required use of an ignition interlock device.
Cases may vary and the best way to prepare is by working with an experienced lawyer such as Branson West Law. In most cases, if the DUI is a first offense and the driver is older than 21 years old, the ignition interlock device laws will require use of the device for 18 months. If the driver is younger than 21, this time period extends to three years.
However, if this is not your first DUI offense, if you refused a chemical test, if you face charges related to an existing ignition interlock device, or if certain circumstances or offenses surround your arrest, you will need to use the ignition interlock device for the next three years. For felony DUIs, ignition interlock device law requires six years of device use, and 10 years for automobile homicide.
When you were charged with a DUI you may not have been told that you have two major deadlines which are rapidly approaching after you are arrested for driving under the influence. If you ignore them, the consequences could be devastating.
If you don't request a driver's license hearing in the first 10 calendar days, you will lose your license, regardless of how good your case might be. And there's nothing an attorney can do about it after the fact.
The second deadline is to contact the court no less than 5, nor more than 14 days. If you miss this deadline, the court WILL issue a warrant for your arrest and officer may be sent to your home or place of employment to arrest you.
To ensure the best chance of protecting your right to drive, working with an experienced and dedicated DUI lawyer is crucial. The right lawyer can walk you through each detail of ignition interlock device law and help you best prepare for your hearing. Even if you have no history of DUI charges, your first DUI in Utah can end up costing you as much as $10,000 in fines.
With various important deadlines and extremely high stakes, you need a compassionate and knowledgeable lawyer. Branson West Law has handled thousands of DUI cases in Utah and knows the best strategies for protecting your rights. If you’re facing DUI charges, schedule your free consultation today.