Interviewer: What other charges do people face besides DUI, which commonly ride along with DUI? Whether drugs or alcohol are involved, what are the common charges?
Court: It is really common with controlled substance DUIs for you to also get charged with possession. So if they arrest you under suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana, then they are going to also have probable cause to search your car. Then they might find marijuana or some other controlled substance. Again, it is pretty common along with a DUI to get a possession charge.
With alcohol, sometimes you will see an open container charge. That means that you had a container of alcohol open in the cabin of your vehicle. Typically, an officer will perform an inventory search or a search incident to arrest, after they arrest you for a DUI. They go through and if they find you have anything like an open bottle of beer in the car, they will charge you with that.
They also typically charge you with something like a speeding ticket or a lane violation. That is usually what the officer originally pulled you over for. They will see you speeding, changing lanes the wrong way, or making an improper turn.
That will be the basis for them stopping you, and that will be the reason that they start their investigation. So a lot of times, you will see a traffic violation on there as well.
Interviewer: If you have passengers, would you be cited for endangering a passenger’s life or putting them in harm’s way?
Court: I don’t see that very typically. If you have a DUI in Utah and you are carrying a passenger who is a minor, then it is a more serious charge. Instead of a Class B, it is a Class A misdemeanor.
So there is that sort of upsell there if you are carrying a kid in the car with you. But I don’t see very many endangerment charges. A reckless driving or something like that would be the closest thing I see.
Interviewer: Have you had any cases where someone was arrested for DUI, drugs and alcohol, or multiple drugs?
Court: Yes, I have seen that. A lot of times, an officer will start the investigation with suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Then, as I was saying, they will search your car and find other stuff.
I have had cases where a person was arrested for DUI alcohol. Then, after the search, they found all sorts of illegal drugs in the car. So they ended up getting charged with felony possession of, I think, LSD in one case. I have seen methamphetamine or cocaine. So yes, that happens.
Interviewer: Can you be charged with possession by having a drug in your blood? Do you have to have a physical quantity of it that is unused?
Court: No, that is not possession. You have to have the actual drug or paraphernalia.
Interviewer: What if they charged your heart with intent to distribute the drug through your bloodstream?
Court: No, they have not thought of that one yet, thankfully.