While some motorists regard driving as a basic right, the fact is that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege that must be earned and maintained by demonstrating safe and lawful driving. Under certain circumstances, an individual's Utah driver's license may be suspended or revoked for a specific length of time, depending on the person's driving record or history, and the particular violation(s).
REASONS FOR DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSIONS
There are a variety of reasons why your Utah driver's license might be suspended. Some of these are related to specific driving violations, while others may be due to violation of other State laws. Following are some of the most common reasons for a Utah driver's license to be suspended or revoked.
- Driving Under the Influence. Your Utah driver's license will be suspended if you are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The length of the suspension varies between 90 days for a first offense and one year for second or subsequent offenses. A mandatory jail term or requirement to perform community service will be ordered on a conviction of driving under the influence. You must also participate in an assessment and educational series at a State approved alcohol or drug dependency rehabilitation facility before you can regain your driving privileges.
- Excessive Moving Violations. The state of Utah operates on a point system, in which drivers accumulate points on their license for every moving violation they commit. If you accumulate 200 or more points on your current driver record in a three year period, you may be placed on probation, requested to take a Defensive Driving Course or your license may be suspended for periods ranging from three months to one year.
- Driving with a Suspended License or no License. Driving with a suspended license may lead to a jail term of 90 days and a fine of up to $750. In addition your license will be suspended for an additional time equal to the time of the original suspension.
- Driving without Insurance. All motor vehicles driven in Utah must be properly insured. Failure to provide proof of valid auto insurance can result in your license being suspended.
- Other Driving-Related Violations. Your Utah driver's license may also be suspended if you engage in reckless driving or are found to be at fault in a fatal accident.
- Non-Driving Reasons for License Suspension. A variety of non-driving violations or issues can result in your license being suspended. These include refusal to take or failing to pass a review examination ordered by the Driver License Division failing to pay traffic tickets, fines or surcharges and not paying child support.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR UTAH DRIVER'S LICENSE IS SUSPENDED
Having your Utah driver's license suspended is a serious matter and it is essential to adhere to State law in the event that your license is suspended. If you believe your license may be suspended due to one of the reasons listed above it is advisable to speak with a traffic ticket lawyer or a DUI-DWI lawyer.
Depending on the reasons for your license suspension, you may be eligible for a limited license that will allow you to drive to and from work and other necessary appointments during the suspension period, but you will have to prove to a court or the Driver License Division that your livelihood depends on being able to do so.
APPEALING A SUSPENSION
If you receive a suspension notice from the DMV, and you wish to challenge the suspension, you may request a hearing in court. An administrative law judge will hear your case, and determine whether your driver's license should be suspended or not. In addition, drivers whose license may be suspended due to accumulating excessive points may be eligible to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program. Completing a Driver Improvement Program removes fifty points from the current driving record, and in some cases can enable an individual to avoid having his license suspended.
It is a good idea to seek the advice of a traffic ticket lawyer or a DUI-DWI lawyer, based on the reason for the suspension.
RESTORING YOUR LICENSE
When your suspension period is over, you can reinstate your suspended license by paying a re-issue fee, together with an administrative fee. You may restore your license at a Driver Licensing Office. The fees are as follows:
- Reinstatement: $25
- Reinstatement for an alcohol- or drug-related offense: $50
- Administrative fee for license reinstatement after an alcohol-related offense or an alcohol, drug, or combination of alcohol and any drug-related offense. This administrative fee is in addition to the reinstatement fee: $150
- Administration fee for license reinstatement after confiscation (pick-up order): $25