In Arizona, it is a class 1 misdemeanor to drive while impaired by any prescription drug or street drug, including marijuana. If officials find marijuana’s active metabolite, THC, in your system at the time of driving, you can be charged with a DUI. This is true even if it has been a while since the marijuana was ingested. For Medical Marijuana Cardholders, the case can be complicated; being a registered patient is not always a valid defense to a marijuana DUI charge.
In November 2020, Arizona passed Prop 207, also known as the Smart and Safe Act. This made it legal for Arizonans ages 21 and above to consume, possess, purchase, and grow marijuana for recreational purposes. The state has the right to enact a law that establishes a legal limit for THC in the bloodstream in order to determine a marijuana DUI, but the limit and testing methods are still being determined. For now, if you are driving with any amount of THC in your system you can be charged with being impaired by marijuana to the slightest degree, even if the marijuana was ingested legally in the wake of Prop 207.
You can also be charged with DUI if you’re driving while a medication is in your system for which you do not have a prescription. In DUI cases, the chemical test, usually a blood test, is critical because, in cases of drugged driving, the driver does not always exhibit common signs of impairment associated with alcohol intoxication, and the police cannot collect proof of drug use through a breath test.
The possible penalties for a Marijuana/Drug DUI are:
- Up to 6 months in jail, with a minimum of 10 days
- Fines and fees over $1,500
- A 90 day suspension of your driver’s license
- Drug or alcohol classes and screening
- Community service
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
Ignition Interlock Devices
As of January 1, 2017, there’s no ignition interlock requirement for a drug DUI resolved under 28-1381(a)(3); however, the Judge has discretion to add this requirement and require the instillation of the device for up to 12 months. The assistance of a Phoenix Marijuana DUI lawyer to argue on your behalf against installation of the ignition interlock in your case is crucial. Keep in mind, if the interlock is ordered, you must comply with all interlock device requirements. This includes:
- Compliance with routine device maintenance
- Never blowing a positive alcohol reading into the interlock device.
If you have a prior DUI conviction within seven years, the possible penalties can be more severe. There are also aggravating factors that can turn a misdemeanor DUI into a felony. Read more about the penalties for aggravated DUI.
Legal Representation You Can Trust
The experienced Phoenix DUI lawyers with the Lerner and Rowe Law Group can help with your drug or Marijuana DUI. We have helped hundreds of clients all across the state with their DUI cases. If there is any defense to your Marijuana or Drug DUI, we will find it.
If you have been charged with a marijuana or drug DUI, call us today at 602-667-7777 to get the help you need. You can also reach us through an online contact form or through our convenient LiveChat feature. Don’t wait! We look forward to helping you and also answering your questions. We offer affordable payment plans.