Driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime in Utah. This article explains the penalties imposed for DUI violations, but other laws regarding marijuana possession may also apply to drivers and passengers.
For information about how Utah treats marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture, see Utah Marijuana Laws.
Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
It is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, other drugs, or a combination of substances. When alcohol is involved, a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent of the driver's blood, by volume will conclusively establish that the driver is under the influence (if the level is less, the prosecutor can still point to the driver's actions to prove that he was under the influence).
When marijuana is involved, however, any amount of marijuana that was in the driver’s blood or urine while he was driving will establish that the driver was under the influence. (Utah Code Ann. § 41-6a-502.)
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence
Penalties vary according to whether the offense is a first of subsequent conviction, with increased penalties for offenses committed while a minor was in the vehicle. In addition to the penalties described below, the judge may order the defendant to participate in a alcohol or substance abuse treatment program.
- First conviction. Penalties include a fine of at least $700, at least 48 hours in jail, or both; and 48 hours of community service or house arrest.
- Second conviction. Penalties include a fine of at least $800, at least 240 hours in jail, or both; and 240 hours of community service or house arrest.
- Third and subsequent convictions. Penalties include a fine of between $1,500 and $2,500, up to five years in prison, or both.
An Important Note on Local Legal Representation
If you have been charged with a marijuana-related driving offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.