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Ignition interlock devices in Utah

The use of ignition interlock devices is another common consequence after a DUI conviction.
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    December 18, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- A conviction for driving under the influence in Utah can result in a variety of consequences. The specific DUI penalties that a driver can face vary based upon the circumstances but can include fines, license suspension, home confinement and monitoring, jail time and more.

The use of ignition interlock devices is another common consequence after a DUI conviction. When and for how long a driver may be required to utilize an IID in his or her vehicle is determined by the judge and depends largely on the specific nature of the case. Some factors that influence the use of ignition interlock devices include:

- Prior offenses: If a driver has prior DUI convictions, there can be a greater chance of being required to install an IID. It should be noted that a DUI conviction from another state counts as a prior DUI conviction in Utah as well. That means that if you are convicted of a DUI in Utah but you received a DUI in California, for example, last year the current DUI would be considered as a second offense.
- Blood alcohol content: Whether or not a driver's BAC was over or under 0.15 percent can influence the ultimate decision of a judge to order the use of an ignition interlock device. In cases where the BAC was greater than 0.15 percent, and IID and home confinement with monitoring may both be ordered.
- Accidents or other offenses: If the driver's actions resulted in an accident causing harm or even death to another person, a judge may be more likely to order the use of an ignition interlock device. In addition, speeding, reckless driving or other violations could influence the decision.

The use of an IID is often a condition of probation. The length of time an ignition interlock device is used for is also up to the individual judge but is commonly for the length of time that a driver's license would have been suspended.

How does an IID work?

An ignition interlock device consists of the Breathalzyer portion and an electronic microchip that is installed into the vehicle's ignition. This chip communicates with the recording device to record the driver's BAC from each test and can either lock or unlock the ignition of a parked vehicle based upon the results. For a car already in motion, the IID cannot force it to stop but can initiate a series of signals indicating that the car should be stopped.

Every time a driver gets into his or her vehicle, a breath test is required. If the blood alcohol content is below the predefined threshold, the ignition is allowed to be started. If the level is too high, the ignition is locked until another test is able to be passed.

Rolling retests are breath tests that are randomly conducted once a driver has already been allowed to start and drive a vehicle. If passed, nothing happens but if a retest signals a BAC that is considered too high, the headlights and taillights will flash and the horn will honk until the car is brought to a complete stop and the ignition is turned off.

Understanding the laws can help

Learning the laws and guidelines surrounding a drunk driving offense or conviction can be helpful for anyone facing such a situation. Working with an attorney who is experienced in this area of law is the best way to fully understand the scope of the situation and know how to protect yourself.

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