A person can be charged with Driving with Measurable Controlled Substance if they are operating a motor vehicle while having any measurable, illegally consumed controlled substance in the body. Even a metabolite of a controlled substance (for example – Carboxy-THC, which is the leftover non-impairing chemical created when a person smokes marijuana), if measured in the body, will be grounds for this criminal charge.
The State does not need to prove impairment for this charge! This means that even if you are sober, pass field sobriety tests, and not demonstrating reckless driving – you can still be charged for Driving with Measurable Controlled Substance if there is any amount of controlled substance in your body!
You may hear law enforcement refer to this charge as “Metabolite DUI,” but it is important to recognize that this offense is a separate and distinct criminal charge from a traditional “DUI.” A conviction or DUI metabolite charge will count as a prior conviction in terms of the DUI statutes. A conviction can have similar consequences as a DUI conviction regarding driver’s license loss, substance abuse treatment programs, and probation. If a peace officer asks you when the last time you smoked marijuana was, and you think it’s safe to tell him that it has been several days since you last smoked or that you smoked days before in a legal state – think again. The drug or substances that can trigger this charge could still be in a person’s blood or body, and the officer knows this. You should never answer a question about consuming an illegal drug – even if it was marijuana in California, Nevada, Colorado, etc. Key points of this DUI charge are:
- The amount of the controlled substance in your body does not matter. Any measurable amount can support the charge.
- You don’t have to be impaired to be charged. You can pass all the field sobriety tests in the world and still be charged.
- Metabolite (non-impairing chemicals created by previously ingested controlled substances) can still get you in trouble with this offense.
- A conviction can still have implications on your driver’s license.
Defending a Driving with Measurable Controlled Substance charge will take negotiation skill, knowledge of the 4th and 5th Federal and Utah State Constitutional Amendments (search and seizure law, Miranda warnings, self-incrimination laws), a thorough probable cause analysis, and a customized approach to finding the best resolution to your case.