An Experienced Marijuana DUI Lawyer Can Help You Navigate Arizona’s Laws

Marijuana DUI lawyer James E. Novak in Phoenix, AZ, is an expert in Arizona’s zero-tolerance policy regarding marijuana DUI law. He can provide you with aggressive legal representation to help you fight the charges. Arizona is just one of three states in the United States that has both zero-tolerance laws for driving under the influence of marijuana, and laws that make obtaining, possessing, and using medical marijuana legal.

James Novak is an experienced DUI attorney with extensive knowledge of Arizona’s zero-tolerance laws.

Although medical marijuana is legal in Arizona, you can be prosecuted for driving under the influence if an officer thinks you are impaired by the drug. Marijuana laws have changed significantly in recent years and are likely to continue changing. It is important to work with a lawyer who is experienced in this particular area of law. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of marijuana, contact The Law Office of James E. Novak today.

Driver holding marijuana with hands on steering wheel.

What is a Marijuana DUI?

In Arizona, you can be charged with a marijuana DUI if you are found to be under the influence of marijuana while driving, including licensed medical marijuana users. Metabolites, the residue left in the body after marijuana use, can appear on a blood test for several weeks after using it. Therefore, drivers can be charged with a marijuana DUI if it appears in the blood, regardless of being under the influence at the time of the traffic stop. 

If a police officer suspects you are driving under the influence, you may be pulled over. The officer will use visual and olfactory clues to determine if there is sufficient evidence to arrest you for a DUI. After your arrest, a blood test will be ordered to prove an illegal substance such as marijuana is in your system. The presence of metabolites in your system does not prove that you were impaired, but since Arizona has a zero-tolerance law, you can be charged with a marijuana DUI.

Medical Marijuana and DUIs

While a prescription for medical marijuana allows you to legally obtain, possess, and use marijuana, it does not allow you to drive while under the influence of marijuana. Any trace of marijuana in your system can lead to DUI charges. However, according to a recent Arizona Supreme Court decision, you can use your prescription for medical marijuana in an affirmative defense in your case. You must prove that the levels of metabolites in your blood stream were low enough to cause no driving impairment. However, this can be a difficult thing to prove in court.

Consequences of a Marijuana DUI

A first-offense marijuana DUI will likely result in jail time, participation in a mandatory drug treatment program, fines, and up to five years of probation. A second or repeated offense within seven years of the first offense may result in a substantial amount of jail time, participation in a mandatory drug treatment program, steep fines, a suspended driver's license, and the installation of an ignition-interlocking device on your vehicle. If you were charged with a marijuana DUI with a prescription for medical marijuana and you were unable to prove your metabolite levels were too low to cause impairment, you will be subject to the same consequences.

Contact The Law Office of James Novak

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, contact James E. Novak today. James Novak is an experienced DUI attorney with extensive knowledge of Arizona’s zero-tolerance laws. 

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