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DUI Charge with Marijuana in Arizona

The Court of Appeals in Arizona ruled in February 2013 that upholds the right of prosecutors to move forward with charges against marijuana smokers in the state for driving under the influence regardless of the presence of physical evidence. As reported by the Associated Press, authorities in Arizona need only blood test or urine sample results showing the presence of chemical compounds known to be in marijuana as present in the body at the time of arrest. Regardless of your level of impairment, or how long ago you may have used marijuana, police can arrest you for driving under the influence. Any amount of marijuana or its metabolites in your system could be sufficient to bring marijuana DUI charges in Arizona. A DUI for Marijuana charge can also be known as one of  the following: Metabolite DUI, Pot DUI, or Weed DUI.

Impairment to the Slightest Degree

To prove that you were under the influence of marijuana at the time of your traffic stop, authorities must show what is known in Arizona law as “impairment to the slightest degree.” In other words, prosecutors must show marijuana use impaired your driving, even to the slightest extent. Any traffic citation – as evidence of a driving error – issued by the arresting office could be sufficient to overcome this burden. Officers might also ask you to perform field sobriety tests during the traffic stop as a means of determining impairment.

By law, you do not have to submit to field sobriety tests. Politely decline the request. This right doesn’t usually extend to providing breath, urine or blood samples. If you choose not to cooperate, officers may obtain a warrant for your bodily fluids, which you cannot legally refuse.

Penalties for Marijuana DUI in Arizona

First Time Marijuana DUI Offense: misdemeanor punishable by a minimum of one day to a maximum of six months in jail. Fines and associated court fees are a minimum of $1,470, but may be more depending on judicial discretion. Mandatory participation in substance abuse program and required installation of an interlock device on vehicle ignition. One-year suspension of driver’s license.

Second Marijuana DUI Offense: Misdemeanor level offense with a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail, minimum $3,340 fine, and a minimum of 30 hours of community service. License suspension for 18 months and required installation of interlock device on vehicle.

Third Marijuana DUI Offense: If the third marijuana DUI offense occurs within seven years of the last conviction, there was a child present in the vehicle or your license is suspended, you could be charged with a felony level offense. You may face a lengthy mandatory minimum prison sentence and heavy fines.

 

If you have any questions about the State of Arizona and the DUI Drug laws, please give our offices a call (602) 307-0808. Our offices are available 24 hours a day and we offer free consultations. Call or email us now.
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