Steroids and Utah High School Athletes

Use of steroids, otherwise known as doping, continues to be common among Utah high school athletes. Using steroids is a dishonest way for players to get ahead in their sport, and it can have long lasting effects on their overall health.

What are steroids?

Photo by: MattysFlicks

Photo by: MattysFlicks

The technical term for steroids is performing-enhancing drugs. Performing-enhancing drugs do just that; enhance the way athletes perform at their sport. The main way that steroids work for athletes is by helping the players build muscle, or bulk up. A common type of steroids used by high school athletes is anabolic steroids, which is synthetic testosterone. While anabolic steroids are prescribed in small amounts for boys who may not be hitting puberty at a proper age, they are abused in higher concentrations by athletes wanting to gain muscle.

Damage to growing bodies

Besides mood swings such as rage and depression, abuse of steroids can cause:

• Baldness
• Stunted growth
• Heart disease
• (For girls) Male traits such as a deeper voice and facial hair
• (For boys) Breast development, shrinking testicles and infertility due to lower sperm count.

Game suspensions & mistrust of coaches

When high school athletes are caught using steroids, they are typically suspended from playing the game they wanted to perform better in. Not only are they suspended from playing, they lose the trust of their coaches and teammates as well. Nobody likes a cheater, and that is just what high school athletes that use steroids are. They may not be stealing points or deflating balls, but they are deceiving themselves and those that count on them.

Legal ramifications of steroid use

It isn’t enough that steroids are dangerous and can ruin an athlete’s popularity, steroid use is also illegal. Just like prescription drugs, if an athlete has steroids that are not prescribed by a doctor, it is considered possession of a controlled substance. As a schedule III substance, possession of steroids is a 3rd degree felony. For high school athletes facing charges for possession of steroids, contact a criminal defense attorney today.

Unsecured Load Turns Fatal

Items that fall off of an unsecured load can become fatal road debris for fellow motorists on the highway. A study done by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety states: “In North America, vehicle related road debris (VRRD) is estimated to cause over 25,000 crashes per year resulting in approximately 80 -90 fatalities.”

Deadly Sunday evening drive

Photo by: centralniak

Photo by: centralniak

An early evening trip to grandma’s and grandpa’s for dinner ended with tragedy for a young Ogden family. The Chambers family of four was driving along I-15 when they came to a complete stop on the interstate due to traffic caused from UHP moving something off the road. A 32 year old woman driving behind them failed to see the stopped cars and proceeded to plow into the Chambers vehicle, sending them underneath the semi directly in front of them. 30 year old Ryan Chambers and his sweet 4 year old daughter Evelyn died as a result of the crash. Evelyn’s 7 year old sister remains in critical condition and their mother is currently stable. The family dog was also killed in the accident.

Who’s at fault?

The 32 year old driver that struck the Chambers vehicle will likely face charges for her role in the death of the father and daughter. There is someone else to blame however; the person that lost an item off their unsecured load and left it sitting in the middle of the interstate behind them. The dropped article left wasn’t small in size either. A large doghouse, large enough to block both lanes of travel was the cause of the traffic the Chambers were in when their vehicle was hit from behind. The owner of the doghouse is still unknown, though authorities are expecting them to face charges when found.

Death by road debris

The accident involving the Chambers family is heartbreaking, but it isn’t uncommon. Fatalities caused by road debris happen frequently. People can be killed from road debris such as :

• Knocked down trees
• Killed deer and other animals
• Blown tires
• Fallen rocks
• Spilled liquids for example, oil
• Items from an unsecured load
• Anything thrown from a vehicle, no matter the size

All road debris can cause a fatal accident due to unforeseen traffic, a run-in with the actual item, or a crash from a driver trying to avoid the road debris. Even if the item is small, a driver swerving to miss it can be killed in the process. When something is in the road due to natural disasters such as windstorms and flooding, no one is at fault and the driver involved in the accident should be covered under most insurances. Unfortunately, if the accident is the fault of someone else because they had an unsecured load, they can face charges depending on the severity of the accident.

Photo by:  Michael Anthony Dziedzic

Photo by:
Michael Anthony Dziedzic

Stop accidents before they happen

To help prevent road debris from triggering accidents, Utah police officers start with handing out tickets for any unsecured load they see. According to Utah Code 72-7-409, “A vehicle may not be operated or moved on any highway unless the vehicle is constructed or loaded to prevent its contents from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping.” If someone is pulled over for having an unsecured load, it is a class C misdemeanor and a $200 ticket or $500 if it isn’t their first ticket of this kind within the last few years. Those who are operating commercial vehicles run a higher penalty; at least $500 or $1,000 for repeat offenses. These fines don’t include charges for unsecured load that has caused an accident such as negligence and wrongful death. For more information on charges from an accident caused by an unsecured load, call a criminal defense attorney today.

Recreational Drones Spotted Over Utah Prison

Recreational drones have been spotted flying above penitentiaries around the United States, with the most recent spotting occurring over the Draper Utah prison.

Drug smuggling drones

Photo by: Doctor Popular

Photo by: Doctor Popular

A  guard caught sight of recreational drones flying over one of the outdoor yard areas for inmates at the Draper Utah prison . The yard was shut down and all inmates ordered inside while prison personnel made sure that nothing dangerous or illegal was dropped. The concern for recreational drones doing more than viewing may stem from incidents around the United States where similar drones were used to smuggle drugs or tobacco into prisons.

Illegal and improper use

In addition to using drones to intentionally break the law, many hobbyists are not following the guidelines set in place for the unmanned aircraft systems. Like any vehicle or aircraft, recreational drones have rules such as:

• Keeping the drone visible to the operator

• Staying away from people

• staying under the 55 lb. weight limit

• Not flying for a profit and

• Flying safely, not recklessly

Restricted Areas

There are also restricted areas where recreational drone use is prohibited such as:

• National Parks

• Airports

• Military sites

• Above 400 feet

• Prisons

Besides recreational drones being flown over restricted areas, they have also been spotted by firefighters battling wildfires and by residents who are concerned over privacy matters. Recreational drone owners need to remember common sense and common courtesy when operating a unmanned aircraft system.

FAA penalties for recreational drones

According to the Federal Aviation Association, “Hobby or recreational flying doesn’t require FAA approval but you must follow safety guidelines.” They also state that “Unauthorized drone operators may be subject to fines of up to $25,000 and up to 20 years in jail.” For legal counsel regarding illegal use of recreational drones, contact a criminal defense attorney.