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DUI Of Drugs

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID)

It is against the law in Utah to operate vehicles under the influence of drugs. This criminal offense refers to drug-induced driving (illegal drugs and certain prescription drugs). However, there is much criticism for DUID laws as the tests used determine the presence of chemical changes rather than intoxication from drugs. Since certain drugs keep trace elements in the system for many days after initial use this can be problematic for individuals who have completely recovered from the drug’s effects.

Salt Lake City DUID Attorney

If you or a loved one has been arrested under Utah’s DUID statute, it’s important to quickly consider your legal options. A DUI conviction on your record can have disastrous consequences on people employed in sensitive occupations, those with special licenses, and students. Exercise your right to speak with an attorney and fight the charges that you are faced with. An attorney can examine all elements of your case and help file motions to exclude evidence obtained illegally or other useful strategies.

Call (801) 455-1743 or send an online message to discuss your case with Salt Lake City defense attorney Darren M. Levitt. He will help you understand your legal options and carefully review the details surrounding your unique situation. Given what you have at stake, it’s important to use every tool at your disposal to fight your charges. Contact Levitt Legal to being building a solid defense strategy.

DUID under Utah’s Per Se Drug DUI Laws

Under Utah’s DUI laws, you cannot drive a vehicle if a detectable amount of a controlled substance is in your system. Known as a “Zero Tolerance” policy, the laws can lead to an unjust result, particularly when the results show that driver was not actually under the influence of drugs at the time the driving occurred. Despite the “zero tolerance” laws, important defenses exist to fight these charges. Utah’s DUID laws also apply to having marijuana or its metabolites are in your system.

First DUID Offense

A first offense for DUID in Utah is considered a class B misdemeanor. This criminal offense comes with one or more of the following penalties:

  • Up to 48 hours in jail
  • Up to 48 hours of community service
  • Electronically monitored home confinement
  • Participation in an educational program
  • Fine of $700 or more
  • Probation
  • Substance abuse treatment

Additionally, a driver over the age of 21 may have their license suspended for a minimum of 120 days. This is not a guaranteed license suspension as the defendant may request a hearing in an attempt to keep his or her license. However, the driver must request the hearing in writing and has only 10 days after the initial DUID arrest to do so. Individuals under 21 may have their driver’s license suspended until they turn 21 years old or for a period of 120 days, whichever is longer.

Second DUID Offense

A second DUID offense within 10 years of the initial offense is considered a class B misdemeanor. The criminal offense carries stricter penalties than that for a first DUID, including one or more of the following:

  • 240 hours or more in jail
  • 240 hours of community service
  • Electronically monitored home confinement
  • Participation in an educational program
  • Fine of $800 or more
  • Probation
  • Substance abuse treatment

As in the case of a first DUID offense, a driver may also have their driver’s license suspended. The period is 2 years for those 21 or older. Minors under the age of 21 will have their driver’s license suspended until they turn 21 years old or for 2 years, whichever is longer.

Third or Subsequent DUID Offense

A person convicted of a third or subsequent DUID offense within 10 years of the original offense is guilty of a third (3rd) degree felony. Penalties may include up to 5 years in prison and a fine between $1500 and $25000, in addition to other potential penalties.

Other DUID Related Penalties

If a person inflicts bodily injury on another person as a result of the act of driving under the influence, he or she may face enhanced penalties. Additional penalties may also be given to DUID offenders with passengers under 16 years old in the vehicle during the time of offense. Alternatively, offenders 21 or older with passengers under 18 in the vehicle can potentially face enhanced penalties.

Defenses to DUID

It is not a valid defense that the person charged with DUID is legally allowed to use the drugs in question. Additionally, actual intoxication is not a part of this offense. Certain metabolites, including those from marijuana, can be detected for weeks after use depending on certain factors. It’s entirely possible to be charged with DUID weeks after last use of certain drugs.

However, there are certain defenses that may be used, under § 41-6a-517(3)(a)-(c). This includes:

  • Involuntary ingestion of the substance by the defendant;
  • Substance is prescribed by the practitioner for the defendant’s use;
  • The substance is legally ingested.

Implied Consent

In Utah, under Motor Vehicles § 41-6a-520, any person driving a vehicle on the road is considered to have given consent to a chemical, breath, blood, urine, or oral fluids test to determine if the person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The test is intended to reveal if the person has a measurable amount of a controlled substance/metabolite under their body. The law enforcement officer is responsible for determining which test is appropriate and how many tests to administer.

Refusal to submit to a chemical test can result in the revocation of the person’s driver’s license for a period of 5 to 10 years, depending on prior driving history. In certain cases, it can even result in the requirement of an ignition interlock device to be used for a period of 3 years. Within 24 hours of the initial arrest for DUID, the law enforcement officer is required to give notice of the Driver License Division’s intention to revoke the person’s privilege for operating a motor vehicle.

Levitt Legal, PLLC || DUID Lawyer in Salt Lake City

To learn more about your legal options after a DUID in Utah, contact Levitt Legal. As a Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney, Darren M. Levitt aggressively defends the rights of men, women, and youth charged with driving under the influence of drugs. His legal practice focuses exclusively on criminal defense and represents clients in Salt Lake City, Davis County, Morgan County, and the surrounding communities. Call (801) 455-1743 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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