Many of my DUI clients ask me whether there are exceptions to the ignition interlock restriction imposed for DUI in the State of Utah. Although there is not a general exception as of 2011, there is a limited exception as follows:

A Utah motorist with a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) imposed ignition interlock restriction may operate a vehicle without an ignition interlock if:

  • The vehicle belongs to his employer (not self-employed),
  • He is driving for work purposes only,
  • He has put his employer on written notice that he is an ignition-interlock-restricted driver,
  • He maintains a copy of that written notice in the vehicle for inspection.

Keep in mind that this exception could be eliminated on a case by case basis by order of a criminal court order that the defendant not drive without an ignition interlock under any circumstances. If the DMV exception applies, but the court order offers no such exception, then being caught driving does not constitute the crime of “Operating a Motor Vehicle without Ignition Interlock”. Instead, it constitutes a violation of the criminal court’s sentence and probation order.

If you’re convicted of a DUI in the State of Utah, you should make sure that any court order regarding ignition interlock carves out the same exception provided by the DMV. I know that reading all of the “legal mumbo jumbo” isn’t very entertaining; however, it could be those little clauses that make all the difference in the world. Of course I am not saying you should read every word, due to the length of many of the statutes, but taking a few moments and browsing through certain points and asking your criminal defense lawyer for clarification will help you to compare court orders with DMV notices etc.

Stay safe, be smart and call us when you need us!

Rhome Zabriskie

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