Citations For Marijuana Possession Outnumbered DUIs by 500% in Utah Over Holiday Weekend

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Utah Highway patrol. Credit: Utah Highway Patrol Facebook

A holiday weekend is always a busy time for officers cracking down on intoxicated boaters and drivers, and this weekend was no exception. Utah officers were surprised though that the number of tickets issued for marijuana possession outnumbered DUIs by 500%.

In total, five DUI citations were issued to intoxicated boaters and drivers in Utah’s state parks and reservoirs. This is in contrast to the 25 citations issued for marijuana possession, a ‘humungous uptick’ that left officers ‘very, very surprised’.

Thirty-five officers from five agencies took part in ‘Operation Dry Water 2020’ across the holiday weekend, according to the Deseret, with their aim to decrease the number of DUIs on both land and water. Officers stopped more than 700 vehicles, inspected 110 boats, and came into contact with more than 3,050 people. 156 citations were issued, for the following offenses:

  • 25 for marijuana possession
  • 26 for possession of drug paraphernalia
  • 12 for having an open container of alcohol
  • 6 for being a minor in possession of alcohol
  • 5 for DUI (four were issued to boaters and one was to a motorist at a checkpoint who had just pulled his boat out of the water)

The same operation last year resulted in nine DUI citations and 16 for marijuana possession. 

Currently, it is not legal to possess, consume, sell, or even gift, any amount of marijuana outside medically approved use in Utah.

Also over the weekend, on the roads of Utah, State Troopers made:

  • 2,946 Traffic stops
  • 1,982 Speeding contacts
  • 229 Seat-belt contacts
  • 54 DUI arrests
  • 14 Reckless/Careless driving arrests
  • assisted 796 motorists having vehicle trouble
Marijuana use is up during the lockdown. Credit: Ahmed Zayan on Unsplash

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