DUI with a Controlled Substance
Have you been arrested for a DUI with a controlled substance? Do you need your driver’s license for work or school? Are you worried about what a Drug DUI conviction could mean for your life? If these are the questions going through your mind, the Law Offices of James E. Novak can help. Attorney Novak is an experienced criminal defense attorney with over a decade of experience aggressively defending the rights of individuals charged with DUI with a controlled substance and knows what it takes to successfully defend against even the toughest cases.Arizona DUI Laws Pertaining to DUI with a Controlled Substance
Under Arizona law, it is illegal to maintain “actual physical control” of a vehicle while under the influence of “any drug.” When the law uses the term “any drug,” it means just that. Legal or illegal, street or prescription, driving under the influence of any drug can result in DUI charges. However, the fact that a drug was prescribed can be a defense in certain situations.
Here’s how it works: It is illegal to be DUI with a controlled substance. If you are pulled over by a police officer, and they think you are under the influence, they can arrest you—even if you tell the officer you have a valid prescription. In fact, even if you have the prescription bottle with you and show it to the officer, they can still arrest you.
However, the question is whether you can be convicted of DUI with a controlled substance. Here is where the defense contained in A.R.S. § 28-1381 comes in. This section provides that “A person using a drug as prescribed by a medical practitioner” is not guilty of DUI. Thus, the fact that you were prescribed the medication can be a defense, but it is up to you (and your attorney) to prove that you were using the drug as prescribed.How Can You Prove that You Were Taking Medication as Prescribed?
If you were arrested for a DUI with a controlled substance, you can’t be found guilty if you can prove that you were taking the medication as prescribed. However, proving this fact isn’t necessarily easy to do. The judge wasn’t there when you took the medication, and your word that you followed the doctor’s directions in taking the medication will only get you so far.
How this normally plays out is that your DUI defense attorney will review the blood test results taken after your arrest. These results will not only indicate the substances in your system but also the amount of the substance in your blood at the time the test was taken. Depending on the levels, your lawyer may need to present expert witness testimony that the levels in your blood were consistent with someone who took the medication as prescribed.Is Marijuana a Prescribed Drug Under Arizona DUI Law?
Yes, drivers who consume medical marijuana within the parameters of the law can benefit from the prescription drug defense. However, to do so, a driver cannot have been impaired to the slightest degree by marijuana. This is because the prescription drug defense only applies to those DUI cases in which there was no evidence of impairment, such as when there are only inactive metabolites in their system.Are You Facing Charges of DUI with a Controlled Substance in Phoenix?
If you were recently arrested and charged with a controlled substance or prescription drug DUI, reach out to the Law Offices of James E. Novak. Attorney Novak is a veteran criminal defense attorney with extensive knowledge and experience handling all types of DUI cases, including those involving controlled substances. He can help you determine the best possible defense in your case and defend your interests at every stage of the process. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Phoenix DUI defense attorney today, call 480-413-1499 today.