Utah Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
When many people hear the term "driving under the influence" (DUI), they think of alcohol. However, individuals in Utah can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) if they are impaired by other substances--whether they were obtained illegally or by prescription. And, because there is no legal limit, as with alcohol, you could be convicted of this offense for having any amount of controlled substances in your bloodstream.
Utah's Zero Tolerance Drug Law
As mentioned above, possessing any amount of a drug in your system is enough for a DUID arrest. Unfortunately, some drugs--such as marijuana and its metabolites--can remain in your system for days or even weeks. Challenging the evidence in a DUID case can be difficult, which is why it is important to have a qualified defense attorney on your side while fighting this serious charge.
Penalties for a DUID Conviction
The penalties for a DUID conviction in Utah are based on the number of prior offenses on your criminal record as well as other factors (such as causing bodily injury or death in a drug-related accident). If you are convicted of a first offense (a class B misdemeanor), you could be sentenced to a maximum of 48 hours in jail, a maximum of 48 hours of community service, home confinement with an electronic monitoring device, probation, and at least $700 in fines. In addition, your license may be suspended for 120 days and you could be required to complete a substance abuse education program and treatment.
For a second DUID conviction within 10 years, you could expect increased penalties. For example, the judge can sentence you to a minimum of 240 hours in jail as well as community service, probation, home confinement, and at least $800 in fines. The driver's license suspension is increased to two years and you will again have to complete a substance abuse education program and treatment.
For a third of subsequent driving under the influence of drugs offense, you could be convicted of a third degree felony and punished by a maximum of five years in prison and fines ranging from $1,500-$25,000.
Contact a DUID Defense Lawyer Now
As you can see, the stakes are high when faced with a Utah DUID conviction; therefore, hiring a qualified defense attorney should be your highest priority at this critical time.