With Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and even the District of Columbia having legalized marijuana in the past few years, it is important to understand Utah’s metabolite DUI laws. Even if you have smoked legally in one of these states, or one of the many additional states where medical marijuana is legal, you can still get a DUI charge in the Beehive State.
As with most legal dilemmas, Utah’s metabolite DUI can use some in-depth explanation. Here at Kelly Cardon & Associates, we strive to provide information and resources to those in need. As marijuana laws become varied state-by-state, Utah’s laws have become even more important to understand.
Metabolite DUI Explained
Utah’s metabolite DUI statute is extremely strict. In fact, it is illegal to operate a vehicle if you have any measurable amount of a controlled substance in your system. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you are impaired while driving so long as there is still the remnants of the drug in your system, and this includes marijuana.
If you are traveling back from a long weekend in Colorado where you decided to try legal marijuana for yourself, you could get charged under this statute. In fact, an officer does not need a warrant for this charge. If you are pulled over on your way back to Utah and tell the officer you smoked marijuana over the weekend in Colorado, you will be charged without a doubt.
What is even more concerning is that marijuana can remain in your system for weeks after you have smoked it. So you could have returned from Colorado and a week later get charged with a metabolite DUI despite being stone cold sober at the time of your arrest.
Metabolite Statute Charges
In Utah, a metabolite DUI charge is equivalent to a first offense drunk driving charge, a class B misdemeanor. This charge carries a maximum of six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. However, this is usually not the only charges that could be faced. Even the simple fact of having a metabolite in your system could sway the judge or jury to add substance abuse treatment to the punishment.
Additionally, possession of a controlled substance or paraphernalia could be added on as well. In Utah, internal possession is a serious crime that only requires you to have a measurable amount of an illegal substance in your system to be charged. Under internal possession, you will face drug charges such as possession of a controlled substance.
Kelly Cardon: Utah’s DUI Defense
As you can see, drunk driving is not the only activity that can have you facing a DUI charge in Utah. The state’s metabolite DUI statute can make legal consumption of marijuana in Colorado an illegal activity that can bring forth charges for weeks after your trip.
If you are have been charged with a DUI in Utah, you need a good legal team on your side. You can contact Kelly Cardon & Associates here to get your free case analysis.