Interviewer: Let’s start with what is an alcohol-restricted driver, when does it come into play in a DUI case?
An Alcohol-Restricted Driver Status Is an Action Placed by the Utah DMV on Your Driver’s License
Court Koehler: If you are arrested and convicted for DUI, then through the DMV, you may be placed on active, or not active, alcohol restrictive driver status. What happens is when you get pulled over and the police officer looks over your license, he’ll see a warning on his computer screen that indicates you are an alcohol restricted driver.
What that means is that you cannot have any measurable amount of alcohol in your system while you are driving. If you do it’s a separate offense and the penalties and fines will be similar to the DUI.
The Alcohol-Restricted Status Is a Separate Action from a Criminal Trial and May Be in Addition to Any Penalties Imposed by the Judge
It’s a separate requirement imposed on you to not drive if you have any alcohol at all in your system. It’s automatic whenever you’ve been convicted of a DUI or impaired driving. It doesn’t have anything to do with what the judge sentences you to during your trial; the DMV imposes this status on your license.
Under This Status, You Cannot Drive if You Have Consumed Even a Small Amount of Alcohol
Interviewer: Are you restricted from having any alcohol in your system, even the smallest trace?
Court Koehler: Yes, no measurable amount is the way that the statute is written. A trace would be measurable so that would be an offense under the statute.
Police Testimony Only May Be Adequate for a Conviction
The way that you can prove it is usually it will be through a breath test but the officer can also prove by testifying. It would be less common for this to happen but let’s say the officer observed you during a police stop. Maybe he smelled alcohol on your breath or your eyes were bloodshot. It’s the same sort of battery of checkpoints that they might go through when they are investigating you for DUI.
Even if you don’t necessarily take a breath test, the officer can testify to convince the jury at the trial that you were impaired.
How Long Might You Be Classified as an Alcohol-Restricted Driver?
Interviewer: How long is this status usually imposed for?
You Are Classified as an Alcohol-Restricted Driver for a Year for a First Alcohol-Related Offense
Court Koehler: The first time you get a conviction, you’d be an alcohol restricted driver for two years. For a period of two years you’ll have that flag on your license.
If You Violate the Terms of the Status, your License Is Suspended for a Year and You Are an Alcohol-Restricted Driver for an Additional Three Years
Then if you were to violate that and get convicted of driving with some measurable amount of alcohol under the alcohol restricted driver statute, you would have your license revoked for a year. In addition the year suspension, you’ll be an alcohol restricted driver for an additional three years.
It’s generally something that you don’t want to take casually. I don’t think there are a many people that could get by not having a driver’s license for a year. It’s pretty serious.
A Second DUI Conviction Results in a 10-Year Classification as an Alcohol-Restricted Driver
Interviewer: What about for a second conviction?
Court Koehler: If you receive a second DUI, you are alcohol restricted for 10 years.
The Severe Penalty Is Imposed to Deter Repeat Offenders
The lengthy status is imposed to deter people from drinking and driving. Also if you are convicted of an alcohol restricted driver violation, you will also be required to have an ignition interlock installed. Although it probably won’t affect you too much because you will have been convicted of a DUI you will probably already have an ignition interlock restriction on your license so you’ll already be made to have one.
Interviewer: What happens if you are pulled over and you are an alcohol restricted driver and you blow anything above 0 on a breath test? What’s the penalty?
Violation of the Alcohol Restriction Is Subject to Fines, Surcharges and a Possible Jail Sentence
Court Koehler: The class D misdemeanor so the penalties are going to be a fine of up to $1000. There are all sorts of surcharges, something like 95% so basically you are looking at a fine of up to $2000.
Then jail time, it could be a maximum of up to six months under a class D misdemeanor. However, it is uncommon to get that much jail time. It depends on your criminal history. Typically, let’s say your record is pretty clean except that you have the DUI and then you get caught driving with alcohol in your system and you are an alcohol restricted driver. You are probably going to end up with a fine around $2000 and you might, depending on the judge, have to spend a couple days in jail as well.