UTAH

Road rage can now cost your driver license, plus 400 other bills the governor has signed

Mar 19, 2024, 1:00 PM | Updated: Mar 21, 2024, 10:24 am

Utah 2022 legislative session...

Aerial view of the Utah State Capitol.(Ravell Call, Deseret News, KSL-TV Chopper 5)

(Ravell Call, Deseret News, KSL-TV Chopper 5)

SALT LAKE CITY–Governor Spencer Cox has just signed a bill that allows law enforcement to revoke a person’s driver’s license for road rage.

Road Rage Amendments

Utah’s new road rage law allows law enforcement to “enhance” the severity of a traffic charge and even take away a driver’s license. KSL legal analyst Greg Skordas likens it to how the state’s hate crime laws work.

“Often the legislature will make certain crimes enhanceable,” said Skordas. “That is, an existing crime can be punished more severely, based on a number of factors. We have for example hate crimes, that say, ‘look, if you get in a fight with somebody, that might be a certain level of misdemeanor.’ But if you attack them because they’re, let’s say, Jewish, or Black… the crime would be more enhanced as a hate crime and be punished more severely.”

In cases of road rage, it means that a class B misdemeanor on the road would become a class A misdemeanor. A class A misdemeanor would bump up to a third-degree felony. According to the online bill text, that last jump will result in a minimum fine of $1,000.

Skordas says the revocation of a license has some precedent with other laws.

“[Utah] has several crimes that, for example, if you have a DUI, we can also take your license away. If you’re under the age of 21 and you have alcohol in your system, we can take your license away.”

From bills to laws

Governor Cox’s office said in a press release that he has now signed 398 bills since the end of the 2024 legislative session, leaving 193 without his signature.

The Governor can sign or veto bills, or he can allow them to pass automatically without his signature. The enacted bills will become effective 60 days after the last day of the legislature, according to the Utah legislature’s website.

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Road rage can now cost your driver license, plus 400 other bills the governor has signed