HB 397: Allowing for a Limited Driver License
This bill was not introduced in any committee and therefore was not voted on in the House or Senate.
A person caught driver while under the influence of alcohol faces fines and penalties, as well as an automatic driver license suspension in order to prevent further potential risk. In certain circumstances, it may be unreasonable to revoke the ability to legally drive. For example, a person in rural Utah who has to drive 40 miles to work every day to support their family faces a substantial burden in losing their license—especially in the case of a first time offense.
Representative Norman Thurston is sponsoring House Bill 397 which would establish a process for individuals to appeal a full driver license suspension and apply for a limited driver license when they are convicted of a DUI. This narrow bill would only apply to individuals who are over the age of 21 at the time of conviction and who have not been convicted of a prior DUI. in the past ten years. Provisions in HB 397 also require that the individual to have gone through required state screening and have served at least 30 days of the driver license suspension.
Punishments will still be harsh for those who drink and drive. However, implementation of this bill would allow for more individuals to be contributing members of society while maintaining a job and forming a better future for themselves which they would not be able to do without a driver license.