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Driving under the Influence of a Controlled Substance

Driving with any Measurable Controlled Substance in the Body under Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44(8), (9) and § 41-6-44.6, does not necessarily allege that a person is impaired by any controlled substance. Instead, this crime is focused on whether the person has any measurable controlled substance in the body.

Even more disturbing, the criminal statute attempts to criminalize a person for driving with any metabolite of a controlled substance in the person's body. A metabolite is a by-product that can be present in the body long after the "high" experience after using the illegal substance has disappeared. In this way, law enforcement officer in Utah have wide discretion to target or select people suspected of using drugs even though the officer may have good reasons to know the person is not driving while impaired from any controlled substance.

Salt Lake City Attorney for Driving Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance

Criminal defense attorney, Darren Levitt, represents men and women charged with DUI related crimes such as driving with any measurable controlled substance in the body throughout the greater Salt Lake City - Ogden metropolitan area, which included Salt Lake, Davis, and Weber counties.


Utah Drug DUI Information Center


Punishment for Driving with any Measurable Controlled Substance in the Body

Under Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44(8), (9) and § 41-6-44.6, it is a Class "B" misdemeanor for any person to drive be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while having any measurable, illegally consumed controlled substance in the person’s body.

Driving with any Measurable Controlled Substance in the Body is punishable by up to 180 days jail and a $1,000 fine. If convicted, the Utah Drivers License Division will suspend the person’s driver license for 90 days on a first conviction and revoke the person's driver license for one year for any subsequent conviction. If the judge suspends the jail time, the person is required to be on probation.


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Controlled Substance Driving vs. DUI under Utah Law

Although this criminal offense is separate from a charge of DUI, as a practical matter a negotiated plea with the prosecutor will allow the person charged with "driving with any measurable controlled substance" to plea guilty to this crime in satisfaction of, or as a substitute for, a DUI charge.

Alternatively, the negotiated plea may allow the person to enter a plea to DUI , in satisfaction, or as a substitute for, a charge of driving with any measurable controlled substance in the body. Such a negotiated plea is not necessarily in the client's best interest. It may be in the client's best interest to fight the charges for a reduction to an offense that is not a DUI related crime or even to fight for an outright dismissal of all charges.


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Definition of Controlled Substance

Under the laws in Utah, the term “controlled substance” is defined to include any substance which is illegal to possess, such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or marijuana. The definition of controlled substance can also include medication that requires a prescription to legally possess. A complete list of the controlled substances prohibited under Utah law can be found in Utah Code §58-37-4.


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Impact of Prior or Subsequent Charges for DUI Related Offenses

A conviction of "Measurable Controlled Substance in the Body" under Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44(8), (9) and § 41-6-44.6 is considered a DUI related offense. The crime is considered a prior conviction for purposes of enhancing a third or subsequent DUI charge to a felony. The provisions in the DUI law regarding screening, assessment, education, and treatment apply to driving with any measurable controlled substance in the body conviction.


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Additional Resources

Utah Code Section 41-6a-517 - Read more about the way the State of Utah defines Driving with any measurable controlled substance in the body under Section 41-61a-517.

Driving Offense and Drug-related Substances - Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office notes that under the law the term “metabolite” is a byproduct produced by the body when it breaks down the controlled substance. Metabolite can remain in the body for a period of time that ranges "from hours to months" depending upon the controlled substance.

Utah's Driving and Drug Laws for Drivers Under 21 - Find information for Utah's DUI laws for drinking and driving by people who are under the age of 21 including Utah's zero tolerance policy.

Drugged Driving Laws in Utah - Information provided by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) on the drugged driving laws in the State of Utah.


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Finding a Salt Lake City Attorney for DUI Related Offenses

If you were arrested for the misdemeanor offense of "Measurable Controlled Substance in the Body" under Utah Code Ann. § 41-6-44(8), (9) and § 41-6-44.6, then contact an experienced DUI defense attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Criminal defense lawyer, Darren Levitt, fights to protect his clients from a conviction for DUI related crimes such as driving with any measurable controlled substance in the body throughout the greater Salt Lake City - Ogden metropolitan area, including Salt Lake, Weber and Davis counties.

Levitt Legal - Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah
266 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
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The information provided on this site is for general information purposes only. The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your own individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Use of this website or submission of an online form, does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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