Woman finds strange man in her bed; 19-year-old arrested, new minor alcohol offense laws

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ST. GEORGE — A young man was arrested Saturday morning after he entered a woman’s home and was found asleep in her bed.

Just after 8 a.m., St. George Police responded to a call from a woman living at the Sierra Pointe apartment complex, 1503 N. 2100 West in St. George, saying there was a “strange man in her bed,” police Sgt. Dave Williams said.

Chad Welsh, booking photo posted July 4, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
Chad Welsh, booking photo posted July 4, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Chad Welsh, 19, was staying at a friend’s place in the apartment complex. Welsh had consumed alcohol the night before and was extremely intoxicated, Williams said. Welsh walked outside of the friend’s apartment, got disorientated and walked back into the wrong home.

The door to the apartment Welsh entered was open. The husband of the woman home at the time had just left for work, Williams said. At the most, Welsh had been in the home 5 minutes.

Welsh was still intoxicated Saturday morning, and officers had a hard time waking him up when they arrived at the apartment, Williams said. Officers don’t believe there was any intent for Welsh to enter into the wrong home.

“Due to his intoxication,” Williams said, “he just didn’t know he was in the wrong house.”

Welsh was arrested for alcohol-minor consumption and trespassing, Williams said.

According to Washington County Sheriff’s Office posted information, Welsh was released from custody at 3:15 p.m. Saturday. Required bond was $580 on the alcohol charge, a class B misdemeanor, and $1,950 on the tresspassing charge, a class A misdemeanor.

Minor alcohol and drug-related offenses laws

If Welsh is prosecuted for the charges and found or pleads guilty, the court may order a screening, an assessment, and an educational series or substance abuse treatment if found appropriate by the screening or assessment; if it is not his first offense, those orders are required.  He can also expect to have his driver license privileges suspended.

Utah’s minor alcohol and drug-related offenses laws were modified by the Legislature during the 2015 General Session. The minor alcohol and drug-related offenses laws include application to persons over the age of 18 and younger than 21, as well as provisions for minors under the age of 18. While the court is required to order a driver license suspension, the new laws authorize a court to reduce a driver license suspension period for certain alcohol or drug related offenses committed by a minor on specified conditions.

The new provisions of law were enrolled with the passage of the Minor Alcohol and Drug-Related Offenses bill, 2HB 284, signed by the governor March 25. The bill passed the House Feb. 26, 72-0, with 2 absent or not voting, then passed the Senate April 2, 24-0, with 5 absent or not voting. The amendments became effective May 12.

From Southern Utah, Sens. David Hinkins, Evan Vickers and Ralph Ockerlund voted in favor of the bill; Sen. Steve Urquhart was absent or did not vote on third and final reading, although he did vote in favor of an earlier version of the bill on second reading.  Southern Utah Reps. Michael Noel, John Westwood, Brad Last, Jon Stanard and Don Ipson voted in favor of the bill, while Rep. V. Lowry Snow was absent or did not vote.

See the full text of the legislation here: HB 284 Minor Alcohol-Drug Related Offenses-Driving Privileges.

 

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed to this report.

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