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Utah House passes bill to criminalize fake urine used to cheat drug tests

By Katie McKellar, KSL | Posted - Feb. 15, 2019 at 10:25 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would criminalize distributing, possessing or selling fake urine to cheat a drug test has cleared another legislative hurdle.

The Utah House of Representatives voted 61-8 on Friday to pass HB16, which would make it illegal to use synthetic urine to defraud a drug test. Using the fake urine or the urine of another person to defraud a test would be an infraction under the bill.

Under current Utah law, it's not unlawful to cheat or sell materials intended to defraud drug tests.

Bill sponsor Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, said the intent of his bill is to "restore integrity" to drug testing.

"It sends the message we want to have integrity in the drug testing process," Eliason said.

On the House floor Thursday, Eliason held up a box he said he bought off of eBay. It contained a synthetic urine product that can be used to pass drug tests. Eliason read aloud its label: "Not intended for unlawful use."

Eliason joked, "I will quickly be putting this on my colleague's desk if this passes," to laughs throughout the House chamber.

A previous version of his bill included had stronger penalties. Using synthetic urine to defraud a drug test would have been a class C misdemeanor, not an infraction, but Eliason lowered the penalty in response to concerns it was too harsh.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Katie McKellar

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