In Arizona, a person can be charged with a drug DUI if the person is in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of any drug, vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance, and any combination of alcohol and drugs and they are impaired to the slightest degree, or if any controlled substance is found in their body.
Some of the most common types of drugs involved in drug DUI charges are marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy, and opiates such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, and heroin. Any type of intoxicating drug can result in a drug DUI charge.
Drug DUIs can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, but first time offenders with no accident involved are typically charged with a misdemeanor. The presumptive sentence of a first time offender six months in jail and/or fines of no less than $250. There are also court fees and drug education classes that may be involved in the sentencing.
Medical Marijuana Patients
It is legal for prescribed patients to use prescription medications while driving. However, an exception to this rule is medical marijuana.
In the State of Arizona, it is illegal to be driving under the influence of marijuana, even if you are a medical marijuana patient. The reasoning behind this law is the presumption that consumption of marijuana causes the same type of impairment as does consumption of alcohol, and impaired driver is an unsafe driver, regardless of the reason for the impairment--recreational use or medical treatment.
Our legal defense to medical marijuana-related drug DUIs focuses on the proof of impairment. Just as alcohol consumption below the legal limit would not result in an alcohol DUI, medical marijuana consumption without proof of impairment should not result in a successful conviction for a drug DUI.
Any DUI charge may result in the immediate suspension of your license unless you request a hearing with the Arizona Depart of Transportation (Department of Motor Vehicles) within 15 days of your arrest. Our office handles ADOT/DMV hearings for DUI clients free of charge, and we can typically delay or reduce your DUI-related suspension.
A Note on Sentencing
Likely outcomes may vary depending upon the facts of the case, the judge, the prosecutor, and other factors. Sentences can increase in severity with a record of prior offenses.
Contact Lee Phillips
If you are interested in retaining our office to represent you in your drug DUI case, or would like more information, feel free to contact us. If your drug DUI is not related to medical marijuana, and you have questions about your specific case, please call our office for a free 30-minute consultation with one of our legal consultants.
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