Potential DUI Law Changes in Utah for 2015

DUI Lawyers in Salt Lake City

Potential DUI Law Changes in Utah for 2015

The legislature is in session for  2015.  SB150 is seeking to again modify the existing DUI Laws in the State of Utah.  To summarize it appears that  four areas are being adjusted.  If passed the bill will:

  1.   prevent a second time offense from being plead down to an impaired driving.
  2.  Get a screening and assessment for a Felony DUI and appropriate treatment.
  3.  Extend the ignition interlock device requirement to 10 years.
  4.  Make it a crime to drive without an ignition interlock if ordered to do so.

Potential DUI Law Changes in Utah for 2015

The first requirement would make it difficult on prosecutors when the facts would warrant a plea deal to an impaired driving.   If the prosecutor’s ability to plea bargain is taken away, then more people will have no choice but to go to trial and waste time and money.  If they win at trial, then there is no education that could otherwise be beneficial, no rehabilitation, restitution and/or other consequences.  Whereas, a plea to a an impaired driving on a second offense would still require rehabilitative measures.  Hopefully preventing any further DUI’s on our State roads and highways.The second issue is a change in the law because the discretion was taken away on appropriate treatment., but instead requires a mandatory assessment to be completed. The law now requires intensive mandatory treatment that may not be appropriate and in some cases can be expensive.The third issue in my opinion is too extreme and over the top.  Currently in Utah, a person convicted of a DUI is Ignition interlock restricted for 18 months by the Utah DLD.  This gives the first time offender 18 months to deal with the pain and suffering of paying for monitored starting of their vehicle.  The ignition interlock machine is expensive to install, expensive to monitor on a monthly basis.  This issue simply pads the pockets of the ignition interlock companies.

The last issue makes yet another crime on the books for driving a car without an ignition interlock.This bill was put on hold for the moment because the feds are telling Utah that our DUI laws are not strict enough.  NOT Strict enough?  We have no employment license to drive like other states, we send people to prison after just three DUIs, our fines are steep, and  the cost is unbearable for a person to survive when they lose their job, their license and can’t drive.  How do they expect someone to pay all of their fees, costs and counseling when they take away the individuals ability to drive, the legislature might as well take away the individuals job because he/she can’t drive and work.  It becomes impossible for some to bear the financial burden and sets too many people up to fail rather then focusing on rehabilitating.

Potential DUI Law Changes in Utah for 2015

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