What Are The Consequences Of Prescription Medication DUI Cases In Utah?
What Are The Consequences Of A Prescription Medication-Related DUI? Are They More Severe Than Alcohol-Related DUIs? Are They The Same?
The consequences for a prescription DUI are the same as for an alcohol DUI. The prosecution and the judge are going to look to see if it’s a first or a second offense, or if they’ve injured someone. Once they’ve gotten the conviction, then they’re going to look and see whether it’s a first, second, or third offense, and sentence just like if it were an alcohol DUI. The fines, possible jail time, treatment, counselling, and all that stuff are all the same.
Can You Run Through What Those Are For Us?
Yeah. For a first offense, they would be looking at 2 days in jail, but the judge can possibly convert that to community service or home confinement. Along with that is a drug assessment and evaluation and any follow-up recommendations. Sometimes, there is supervised probation, as opposed to court probation. Supervised probation is where you check in with a probation officer once a month, while court probation means that, periodically, the court clerk will review the case and the file to make sure everything is being completed as ordered.
For a second DUI offense, you’re looking at significantly more jail time. The statute says a minimum of 10 days, compared to 2 days for a first offense. You’d get treatment, drug evaluation, and an assessment, and you’d have to follow their recommendations and possibly do community service and maybe supervised probation.
If you get three DUIs — including prescription drug-related DUIs — in 10 years, you’re looking at a third-degree felony. There are pretty severe consequences for a felony. You’d go to prison. The statute specifies a minimum of 62 days in jail. You’d also get treatment and supervised probation. It really gets to be a lot of expense and time away from family and things like that.
So, to sum up, for the first offense, for a conviction on a drug-related DUI charge, they’re looking at 2 days in jail or 48 hours of community service, fines of about $1,500.00, an evaluation assessment, and treatment. They could also lose their driver’s license for up to 120 days.
For the second drug-related DUI offense, to give you some idea of the minimums, it’s around a $1,600.00 fine, up to 10 days in jail, a drug evaluation, and an assessment. They’d also have to follow the recommendations for treatment and undergo supervised probation, and they could lose their license for 2 years.
If you get three DUIs within a 10-year timeframe, you’re looking at a third-degree felony, which could send you to prison for 0-5 years and carries a fine of up to $5,000.00. You’d have to get treatment, of course, and supervised probation. It gets to be very expensive and burdensome. Having a felony on your record is very difficult to overcome because, in Utah, you cannot expunge a felony DUI. That’s going to stay with you for the rest of your life.
Are The Fines Or Sentences Worse If There’s A Combination Of Medication And Alcohol? Does That Up The Ante Any?
No, not necessarily. It’s just going to up the ante on the treatment component of the sentence. If they’re a poly-user, meaning multiple drugs and alcohol, then I would imagine that they are going to get a higher level of treatment than a first-time offender who just has alcohol or prescription medication on board. The minimum on that is a 16-hour course. So there’s quite a big difference between 16 hours and weekly therapy sessions for 36 weeks or something like that, which is what I’ve seen before.
What About Someone Caught With A Prescription Bottle Belonging To Someone Else? Let’s Say They’re Pulled Over, They’re Being Charged With A DUI, And They Have Someone Else’s Prescription Bottle. What Are The Charges They Could Possibly Face?
That could get really nasty for the person, because if the prescription bottle is not theirs, and that medication is found in their system, then, depending on the medication, they can be charged with a felony for unlawful use or possession of a controlled substance. They might get charged with DUI for a first offense, which is a B-misdemeanor, and most people can live with that. Along with that, though, they could face felony possession of a schedule-1 or schedule-2 controlled substance, and that can mean going to prison for a long time versus 2 days in jail for the DUI. It’s really scary when people start doing that and getting charged with those felonies.