A Closer Look at Non-Alcohol Related DUI Charges

August 7, 2015

Arizona and Non-Alcohol Related DUI

Under Arizona law, it is illegal for someone to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drug or combination of liquor and drugs.

It is also illegal for someone to drive a vehicle if there is any drug or drug metabolite in the person’s body. However, a driver is not considered to be under the influence for having marijuana metabolites in his or her system if he or she has a registered qualifying medical use card.

Affirmative defenses

A driver may not assert entitlement to a drug as a defense to the first type of DUI.

Additionally, actual impairment is not an element to the offense of driving while under the influence of a drug or metabolite in the person’s body.

In fact, cannabis metabolites are detectable in a person’s body up to one month after use. As a result, someone may be convicted of a DUI for marijuana weeks after last ingesting cannabis.

Though a medical prescription may serve as an affirmative defense to a DUI claim, remember a recommendation to use marijuana from a medical practitioner is not a prescription.

Implied consent

Arizona has implied consent laws, which mean drivers provide consent to a test for blood, breath or urine by obtaining a driver’s license.

As a result, a driver refusing to submit to a blood, breath or urine test will have his or her driver’s license suspended or denied for 12 months.

However, a driver may consult with an Arizona DUI attorney before submitting to the chemical test.

Penalties

A first offense for non-alcohol DUI results in jail time between ten and 180 days and approximately $1,800 in fines.

A conviction can also result in mandatory drug and alcohol treatment, community service and license suspension for 90 days.

If you’re facing non-alcohol DUI charge in Tucson, contact Thrush Law Group.

Our DUI defense attorneys know the courts, the judges, and the system for filing a DUI in Arizona.

We are constantly reviewing new changes in DUI law to help our clients make the best choices in their cases.

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