Call a Cab or Phone a Friend – Do Not Drink and Drive

As the smoke from the fireworks has settled and everyone is headed home, those who have been consuming alcohol are being warned by law enforcement to call a cab or phone a friend; do not drink and drive.

Deadly day on the road

Photo by: Matthew Blouir

Photo by: Matthew Blouir

The 4th of July is a day of celebrating our nation’s independence and many do this by consuming mild to excessive amounts of alcohol while playing with dangerous fireworks. This combination itself can be hazardous, but getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking is can be fatal for the driver or others on the road.

Do Not Drink and Drive

Photo by: Michael Fötsch

Be responsible-don’t drink and drive

Residents who end up wasted at the end of the night usually know ahead of time that their plans involve drinking. Instead of making the deadly and usually impaired choice to drink and drive, party-goers are encouraged to be responsible and plan ahead. Some ways to do this include:

• Decide early on a designated driver.
• Give a sober friend the car keys.
• Have a friend or family member pick you up at a determined time.
• Have the number to a cab company on hand and enough cash for the trip home.
• Take public transportation to the party to take away any option of driving home.
• Encourage those around you to not drink and drive as well.

Increased DUI patrols

Photo by: 911 Bail Bonds Las Vegas

Photo by: 911 Bail Bonds Las Vegas

Law enforcement officials throughout Utah are warning residents that they will have an increased amount of patrols out in full force to catch drunk drivers this 4th of July. Those who drink and drive and a caught by one of the numerous DUI stops planned for the holiday can face days to weeks in jail and up to thousands of dollars in fines. Additionally, choosing to drink and drive for one night can result in a suspended license for up to 2 years. Those facing DUI charges with or without being the cause of an vehicular accident are encouraged to contact a criminal defense attorney.

Suspended Driver’s License Following Marijuana Charges

Utah residents can expect to have their driver’s license suspended following a DUI, yet they may be surprised when they lose their license following marijuana charges which were not acquired when behind the wheel.

DUI

Photo by: Nate Steiner

Photo by: Nate Steiner

Anyone who is found guilty for a DUI in Utah which includes driving with any measurable amount of a drug in their system can face anywhere from two days up to six months in jail and have their license suspended for:
• 120 days for individuals 21 years of age or older,
• One year or until age 21 for individuals who are 19 or 20 years old, or
• Until age 21 for individuals under age 19.
A driver’s license may be revoked if there are previous arrests for the same charges.

Utah Controlled Substances Act

A DUI isn’t the only marijuana charge that can end in a driver’s license being suspended. In Utah, cultivating, distributing, or even simple possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia may result in a driver’s license being suspended for six months. Even a failed attempt to possess marijuana can result in the same suspension.

Safeguard your license after a marijuana charge

License Suspension after Marijuana Charges

Photo by: Kat

Losing a license can make it difficult or nearly impossible for some Utah residents to attend school or make it to they place of employment. Anyone facing marijuana charges should consult with a criminal defense attorney regarding protecting their driving rights. An experienced attorney can help an individual keep their driver’s license whether through helping to prove no fault or through a plea in abeyance, which may end in a fine but no driver’s license suspension.

DUI for Driving with Traces of Marijuana Metabolites in System

Drivers in Utah can be arrested for a DUI days and even weeks after getting high due to traces of marijuana metabolites remaining in the system.

Up to 6 months imprisonment

Photo by: Nate Steiner

Photo by: Nate Steiner

Utah code 41-6a-517 states “a person may not operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within this state if the person has any measurable controlled substance or metabolite of a controlled substance in the person’s body.” So what is a metabolite or what is considered a “measurable controlled substance”?

Marijuana metabolites

THC is the element in marijuana that gives users a “high”, while a metabolite is an inactive part of the drug that stays in the body much longer than a high lasts. A few drug metabolites such as those from cocaine are water soluble, meaning they are metabolized and flushed from the system rather quickly. THC-COOH, the marijuana metabolite commonly tested for in drug tests, is fat soluble and can remain in a system for weeks after getting high, especially for frequent users.

Metabolize fast or take the bus

Photo by: Steven Depolo

Photo by: Steven Depolo

For any marijuana users that need to drive in the coming up days or weeks, it might be wise to take public transportation until all traces of metabolites have processed through the system. Unlike neighboring states, Utah currently has a zero tolerance policy and persons charged of driving with a measurable controlled substance can be found guilty of a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail. If facing a metabolite DUI, consult with an attorney immediately.