Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-1381(A)(3) states that it is “unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle” while there is “any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in the person’s body.” One of the most common drugs associated with “Drug DUI” charges is marijuana (cannabis). Other common substances include cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and opioid painkillers such as oxycodone, oxycontin, hydrocodone, Percocet, and Vicodin. Although less common, Drug DUI charges can result from the use of LSD, PCP (Phencyclidine or “Angel Dust”), MDMA (“Molly”), amphetamines, nitrous oxide, psilocybin mushrooms, crack cocaine, and ecstasy, among others.
Oftentimes, a “Drug DUI” charge under § 28-1381(A)(3) will be accompanied by an “Impaired to the Slightest Degree” charge under § 28-1381(A)(1). While a prescription that indicates you were taking the drug in accordance with a valid prescription is a defense to the (A)(3) charge, it is not necessarily a defense to the (A)(1) count.
In 2014, the Arizona Supreme Court decided State ex rel Montgomery v. Harris wherein it held that if an individual merely has the non-impairing metabolite of marijuana (Carboxy THC), dismissal of the (A)(3) charge is appropriate. Whether or not this rationale will be applied to other drugs and their metabolites is yet to be seen.
If you are pulled over by a law enforcement official and they suspect you may be under the influence of pot or some other substance, they will most likely conduct field sobriety tests. They may also attempt to draw your blood and submit it to a crime lab for testing. Blood results are often the prosecution’s strongest piece of evidence in a Drug DUI case.
Drug DUI offenses can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. If charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, the maximum penalties apply:
If charged as a felony, the maximum penalties vary depending on the circumstances. See our Aggravated DUI page [link] for more information.
Glazer, Hammond, Ruben & Smets, PLLC can effectively evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case to create a solid defense that will help you achieve the least severe sentence possible.
Take the time to meet with us and discuss your case. We offer free case consultations to inform you of your options and put your mind at ease.
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