DUI stands for "driving under the influence" and usually it means just that — driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Utah laws, however, allow for DUI penalties to be applied in another type of situation: If traces of an illegal drug, or metabolites, are found in your system, and authorities can prove that you have been driving, you can be charged with what is known as DUI Metabolite charges. That means that even if you were no longer under the influence of a drug when driving, you could still be charged with DUI Metabolite.
Whether under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Utah takes DUI charges very seriously. While updates to the metabolite DUI law allow for better resolution, the state of Utah still considers driving under the influence of drugs a serious crime. Drivers caught with possession of marijuana or paraphernalia will automatically lose their license for six months. Other circumstances, such as being obviously intoxicated, can further complicate a DUI case.
Metabolites are the remnants of a drug in your system with effects that are not necessarily impairing. A metabolite can be found in your system for days or even weeks after consumption. If metabolites are found, it confirms you consumed drugs at some time, not that you are on drugs right now.
A major update to the "Driving with a Measurable Controlled Substance" (or metabolite DUI) law has relaxed Utah's previous "zero tolerance" towards marijuana DUI charges. Previously, drivers could be convicted of driving under the influence if marijuana metabolites were found in their system. Many opponents pointed out the flawed logic of this law — metabolites can remain in an individual's system weeks or months after drug consumption. Under this law, therefore, completely sober and innocent individuals could be charged with a DUI. This includes individuals that consumed marijuana in legal states and those who used marijuana with a medical prescription.
After much debate, the law has been updated to reflect a fairer system. Drivers accused of a DUI can no longer be convicted on the basis of an inactive metabolite in their system. It may be that the officer or prosecutor involved in your case is unaware of the recent changes to the "Driving with a Measurable Controlled Substance" law which may lead to you being charged unfairly. In order to build a strong defense, you need strong representation from a knowledgeable marijuana criminal defense attorney in order to have a strong metabolite DUI defense.
It’s important to keep in mind that Utah is a state that is non-tolerant of recreational marijuana usage. This can complicate things as a lot of states surrounding Utah are tolerant of recreational marijuana. So you may have legally used marijuana in one of these neighboring states days or weeks previous.
If pulled over while driving or stopped at a DUI checkpoint, the officers at the scene may have charged you with a metabolite DUI. This is unfair, as you were sober at the moment you were driving and within your rights to use marijuana in a state where recreational marijuana is legal, regardless of Utah law. Cases such as these are when it’s important to have a prepared metabolite DUI defense strategy.
Utah laws carry penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. The drugs for which these charges can be applied include illegal drugs such as marijuana or cocaine, as well as many legal drugs, including pain medication, sleeping aids, and allergy/sinus medications, among others. Even with the amended law in place, it’s important to consider what the penalties are for DUIs. If your case is mishandled, these penalties can change the course of your life drastically. A strong metabolite DUI defense can help keep away any penalties.
The penalties for conviction on a DUI drug charge in Utah are quite serious:
Laws regarding drug metabolite DUIs are not as cut and dry as alcohol DUIs, especially laws that have been amended. With the metabolite law being confusing, oftentimes citizens are unprepared and they do not get the best outcome when facing cannabis charges. Branson West Law is an expert Utah lawyer who has handled hundreds of cannabis charges and metabolite DUI charges. As a top lawyer, he stays informed of changing laws and is always the first prepared to build an expert defense. Branson West Law will inform you of your rights, explain the Utah metabolite laws to you in basic language and prepare you with an expert defense.
Whether you were wrongfully accused under the metabolite clause or caught driving while in possession of marijuana and/or paraphernalia, a positive outcome depends on a strong metabolite DUI defense.
A DUI Metabolite charge carries serious penalties for conviction, so a specific DUI Metabolite defense is required. If you are charged with DUI Metabolite in the Salt Lake City area, an experienced criminal defense attorney like Branson West Law can help you prepare an effective metabolite DUI defense strategy that will make sure your rights are protected.
Branson West Law is a proponent of fair justice, and he promises to build a strong defense for his clients. Don't throw your future away — start fighting your case today with the best marijuana DUI lawyer in Utah. Call 801-285-5550 today for a free Utah metabolite defense consultation.