Understanding Arizona Marijuana DUI Laws
The state of Arizona has some of the strictest laws regarding driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and drugs. Despite the more widely accepted use of marijuana for medicinal purposes across the country, driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal in Arizona. If you have been arrested for a marijuana DUI, Attorney James Novak can help. He has an extensive understanding of Arizona marijuana DUI laws and can provide clients in the Phoenix area with a strong dui defense.
Arizona Marijuana DUI Laws
In the state of Arizona, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of any drug, including marijuana. This can include using marijuana and then driving, or driving while using the drug. It is also illegal to drive under the influence of a combination of marijuana (or other illegal drugs) and alcohol. You can be arrested for a marijuana DUI for even the slightest impairment.
It is also unlawful to operate a vehicle when there is any remnant of a drug or its metabolites in your system. Metabolites from marijuana can remain in your body for up to a full month after its use. So even if you have not used marijuana for a couple weeks or more, you could still face a marijuana DUI arrest and conviction.
Penalties for Marijuana DUI
The penalties in Arizona for a marijuana DUI are steep. A first offense alone can result in up to 180 days in jail and nearly $2,000 in fines. You will also face a suspended license for up to 90 days, followed by an ignition interlocking device for up to 12 months, as well as up to 5 years’ probation.
If your third offense occurs within seven years, you could face four months or more in jail as well as more than $100,000 in fines. You may also lose your car, and the state will revoke your license for three years. A third offense also carries five years’ probation.
What about Medicinal Marijuana?
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) was passed back in 2010. It made the use of medicinal marijuana with a prescription card from a physician legal. The act still complies with state laws regarding DUI. This means that even if you have a card for medical marijuana use, you cannot drive while under the influence of the drug. If you do, you can be arrested and convicted.
However, the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that you can use your medical marijuana prescription as part of your defense if metabolites are found in your system. This means that if you lawfully used medical marijuana last week, but were arrested this week for a DUI due to the presence of metabolites, it is unlikely you will face a conviction.
Contact DUI Attorney James Novak
James Novak is an expert DUI defense attorney. He can help build a strong defense to either get you a reduced sentence or have the charges dropped altogether. You have the right to contact your attorney before submitting to a blood test, so call us today.