Will I go to Jail for Failing an Interlock in Utah?

Salt Lake City criminal lawyer

If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in Utah, you can face severe criminal penalties. These penalties may include the revocation of your license and installing an interlock device on your vehicle. Furthermore, your penalties can be more punishing if you violate any court orders or conditions. You may wonder whether you will go to jail for failing your interlock test. Our Salt Lake City DUI defense attorneys from Overson Law, PLLC, explain whether you will serve jail time for failing an interlock device test in Utah.

Understanding DUI and Ignition Interlock Restricted Drivers in Utah

Utah has stringent DUI sentencing guidelines punishing drivers who are convicted of DUI charges in Utah. Any driver caught driving with .05% BAC (blood alcohol concentration) in their system, will face severe penalties, including the confiscation of their driver’s license, fines, and the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). Many people may wrongly believe that this device will be installed if you engage in a serious drunk driving offense. However, you can have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle even for a first DUI offense.

If you were charged and convicted of a DUI in Utah, you cannot drive any other car or otherwise engage in further drinking and driving. This means you cannot drink and drive under any circumstances after being convicted of a DUI. Alcohol-restricted drivers will need to comply with all court-mandated rules to avoid further consequences. This includes using their IID every time they use their vehicle, avoiding alcohol consumption and driving, and refraining from operating another vehicle without their IID.

The ignition interlock device is a small device connected to your vehicle’s ignition system. Typically, this device is placed near the steering wheel. Your IID will have a small tube connected to it through which you will have to blow every time before starting your vehicle. If your ignition interlock device detects alcohol on your breath, your car won’t start. Furthermore, your device will keep track of every time you fail your test. Newer IIDs can also take pictures to make sure you and no one else is using the device. In other words, law enforcement officials could have access to your IID information at any moment. Failing your interlock device’s breath test can lead to severe consequences.

Will I Get Jail Time if I Fail My Interlock in Utah?

An ignition interlock restricted driver can only operate their own vehicle and use their IID. The importance of this premise cannot be stressed enough. It is essential to understand that if you use another vehicle without your ignition interlock device, you can face severe penalties. If you get caught driving another person’s vehicle while being a restricted driver, you can face misdemeanor charges, and a criminal conviction for failing your interlock in Utah can have lasting repercussions.

Utah categorizes misdemeanors into classes A, B, and C. Class A misdemeanors are the most severe types of misdemeanor charges, while Class C misdemeanors are classified as lesser criminal offenses. Driving another person’s car while being an ignition interlock restricted driver can lead to Class B misdemeanor charges. If convicted, you can face up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

However, your situation may worsen if you decide to drive another vehicle and cause an accident. For example, if you cause a severe car accident or motorcycle crash in Utah that causes severe bodily injury or death, you may face severe criminal penalties.

Reasons You Might Need an Ignition Interlock Device Installed in Your Car in Utah

As mentioned, you can get an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle if you are convicted of driving under the influence. According to Utah Code § 41-6a-502, an individual is restricted from driving or having physical control of a vehicle if a person has .05% or more of BAC or has a combination of alcohol and controlled substances on their system. An arrest under these circumstances will likely lead to DUI charges. The court may order the installation of an IID temporarily as a preemptive measure.

You can also get an interlock device if you are found in violation of an interlock restricted driver’s order (Utah Code § 41-6a-518.2), or any subsequent DUI violation(s) (Utah Code § 41-6a-520). Another reason you can get an interlock device installed in your car is to refuse to submit to a chemical test.

You may think that refusing to perform a DUI chemical test means you will have the upper hand. However, you should be aware of the consequences this may bring to your case. If you operate a motor vehicle in Utah, the law implies that you will submit to a chemical test if asked by a police officer. This is known as the implied consent law, which can be found in Utah Code §41-60-520(1)(a). A police officer can ask to perform a chemical test, which may include blood, urine, or oral fluid testing to determine your BAC.

It is essential to understand what taking any of these tests implies and also what consequences you may face if you refuse. Whatever your case may be, you should consult with a Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney before agreeing to these chemical tests. There may be ways to defend yourself against your charges and avoid having an IID installed on your vehicle.

Utah Criminal Defense Attorneys Offering Free Consultations in Salt Lake City

Facing Utah’s criminal justice system can be challenging, especially if you have never been charged with a crime before. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and lost after being arrested and charged. However, you don’t have to go through this challenging situation alone. Our Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys from Overson Law, PLLC, can guide you and help you understand what to expect from your case. Thanks to decades of experience, we have developed the necessary skills to build defense strategies that may help get your charges reduced or your case dismissed. Call our law offices today and schedule your free, confidential consultation at (801) 758-2287.

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