Parental Substance Use as Child Abuse - Utah

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Citation: Ann. Code § 76-5-112.5 

The term 'chemical substance' means the following:

  • A substance intended to be used as a precursor in the manufacture of a controlled substance
  • A substance intended to be used in the manufacture of a controlled substance
  • Any fumes or by-product resulting from the manufacture of a controlled substance

The term 'exposed to' means the following:

  • That the child is able to access or view an unlawfully possessed controlled substance or chemical substance
  • That the child has the reasonable capacity to access drug paraphernalia
  • That the child is able to smell an odor produced during, or as a result of, the manufacture or production of a controlled substance

Unless a greater penalty is otherwise provided by law, the following apply:

  • A person is guilty of a felony of the third degree if the person knowingly or intentionally causes or permits a child to be exposed to, inhale, ingest, or have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance or drug paraphernalia. 
  • A person is guilty of a felony of the second degree if the person engages in the conduct described above and as a result of that conduct, a child suffers bodily injury, substantial bodily injury, or serious bodily injury.
  • A person is guilty of a felony of the first degree if the person engages in the conduct described above, and as a result of that conduct, a child dies.

It is an affirmative defense to a violation of this section that the controlled substance was obtained by lawful prescription and is used or possessed by the person to whom it was lawfully prescribed.

The penalties described in this section are separate from, and in addition to, the penalties and enhancements described in Title 58, Occupations and Professions. 

Citation: Ann. Code § 62A-4a-404

When an individual, including a licensee under the Medical Practice Act or the Nurse Practice Act, attends the birth of a child or cares for a child and determines that the child, at the time of birth, has fetal alcohol syndrome, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or fetal drug dependency, the individual shall report that determination to the Division of Child and Family Services as soon as possible.

Citation: Ann. Code § 62A-4a-409(1)

The division shall make a thorough preremoval investigation upon receiving either an oral or written report of alleged abuse, neglect, fetal alcohol syndrome, or fetal drug dependency, when there is reasonable cause to suspect that a situation of abuse, neglect, fetal alcohol syndrome, or fetal drug dependency exists. The primary purpose of the investigation shall be protection of the child.

Citation: Admin. Code R512-80-2

The term 'abuse' includes fetal exposure to alcohol or other harmful substances. The term 'fetal exposure to alcohol or other harmful substances' means a condition in which a child has been exposed to or is dependent upon harmful substances as a result of the mother's use of illegal substances or abuse of prescribed medications during pregnancy or has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.