I was stopped by an attorney the other day that told me the Department of Public Safety (DMV) took action on his client’s driver’s license when he plead guilty to an Alcohol Related Reckless (ARR) Driving charge. This perplexed me because I watched the laws closely this last legislative session and did not see any law like this go into effect. So, I decided to research it and called a Hearing Officer and then the Bureau Chief for clarification. They told me they are not taking action on an ARR outright. However, just as it always has been, if a person has two reckless driving citations in one year (weather alcohol related or not) there will be a suspension. If the person has too many points (ARR will give 80 points) on their driving record, that can cause a suspension. Also, if a person pleads to an Alcohol Related Reckless and had a prior per se suspension within ten years, the Department will require an ignition interlock device pursuant to 41-6a-518.2.
The high cost of going to an alcohol rehab center is an unexpected nightmare for parents who discover their son or daughter is an alcoholic that badly needs treatment.
Here is where some confusion comes in. Pursuant to the new law that was effective in April 2007, the division will allow a reinstatement of the driver’s license after 60 days if the charge is reduced or dismissed. The statute is Utah Code §53-3-223(7)(b).
(b) (i) Notwithstanding the provisions in Subsection (7)(a)(i), the division shall reinstate a person’s license prior to completion of the 90 day suspension period imposed under Subsection (7)(a)(i) if the person’s charge for a violation of Section 41-6a-502 or 41-6a-517 is reduced or dismissed prior to completion of the suspension period.
(ii) The division shall immediately reinstate a person’s license upon receiving written verification of the person’s dismissal of a charge for a violation of Section 41-6a-502 or 41-6a-517.
(iii) The division shall reinstate a person’s license no sooner than 60 days beginning on the 30th day after the date of arrest upon receiving written verification of the person’s reduction of a charge for a violation of Section 41-6a-502 or 41-6a-517.
So the scenario is that you lose the driver’s license administrative hearing. If you were to walk in and plead guilty to an Alcohol Related Reckless Driving charge, you would then be eligible to take written verification to the DMV and get reinstated after 60 days. Of course the DMV still wants their reinstatement fee.
If the scenario is that that you win the driver’s license administrative hearing and you plead to an Alcohol Related Reckless Driving, my understanding is that the only action on a driver’s license would be a “no alcohol restricted license.” There would be no suspension.