DUI – Metabolite

utah-dui-metabolite-attorney-david-laurence-altman-st-george-dui-metabolite-lawyerUtah has some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation but none is tougher, or for that matter stranger, than Utah’s constitutionally questionable Metabolite DUI law.
Metabolites are defined as the products of metabolism. When drugs are ingested and metabolized by the body, the remaining residues (metabolites) of the drugs may remain in the body for days or even weeks, long after any effects of the drugs have disappeared.   In other words, chemical testing of blood or urine may reveal evidence of drug use long before any encounter with law enforcement. Despite the fact that you no longer have any active drug chemical compounds or ingredients in your bloodstream and that metabolite residues do not impair your abilities in any way, the mere existence of any measurable metabolites will result in a charge of DUI. Convictions under this code do not require proof of impaired driving, positive metabolite tests results are all that the prosecution is required to prove to convict the unfortunate driver of a Metabolite DUI.
The charge is itself an oxymoron, a charge for being under the influence when in fact the metabolites have no influence on mood, perceptions or motor skills. As drug laws are liberalizing around Utah, this law will eventually be stricken, but for the time being it remains the law.

 Excerpts: Not the complete code section
41-6a-517.   Definitions — Driving with any measurable controlled substance in the body — Penalties — Arrest without warrant.
            (1) As used in this section:
            (a) “Controlled substance” has the same meaning as in Section 58-37-2.
            (b) “Practitioner” has the same meaning as in Section 58-37-2.
            (c) “Prescribe” has the same meaning as in Section 58-37-2.
            (d) “Prescription” has the same meaning as in Section 58-37-2.
            (2) In cases not amounting to a violation of Section 41-6a-502, 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.
            (3) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the controlled substance was:
            (a) involuntarily ingested by the accused;
            (b) prescribed by a practitioner for use by the accused; or
            (c) otherwise legally ingested.
            (4) (a) A person convicted of a violation of Subsection (2) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
            (b) A person who violates this section is subject to conviction and sentencing under both this section and any applicable offense under Section 58-37-8.
            (5) A peace officer may, without a warrant, arrest a person for a violation of this section when the officer has probable cause to believe the violation has occurred, although not in the officer’s presence, and if the officer has probable cause to believe that the violation was committed by the person.

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