Recreational Marijuana DUI in Arizona
Discussing the Arizona DUI Laws Regarding Marijuana
Our Zero Down DUI Lawyers discuss the new Arizona law regarding marijuana and how it may impact you. We also take a look at the AZ DUI laws regarding marijuana use and operating a vehicle.
Now that Arizona voters have approved Prop 207, recreational marijuana will soon be legal and available for purchase at licensed dispensaries. This might put you in situations where you feel pressured to get behind the wheel after a few puffs. Just because marijuana won’t show up on a BAC (blood alcohol content) reading doesn’t mean that you can’t be arrested for driving after smoking legal recreational marijuana.
Prop 207 and Arizona DUI Laws
Prop 207 allows for the sale of recreational marijuana in Arizona, but it doesn’t affect Arizona DUI laws that are already in place. In Arizona, you can be arrested for operating any motor vehicle while under the influence of any drugs that impair your driving ability. Arizona also has the charge of DUI- Impaired to the slightest degree, allowing for a DUI arrest for any amount of marijuana in the driver’s system.
Arizona DUI Drug Laws
Under Arizona Law A.R.S. § 28-1381 a person may be guilty of DUI with drugs if they are found to be driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle, “impaired to the slightest degree” due to drugs, controlled substances or alcohol.
Under A.R.S. § 13 – 3401 the definition of “Drugs” includes Marijuana, cannabis, weed, pot, including synthetic or imitation Marijuana substances.
These laws are pretty straight forward and DO NOT CHANGE even with the passage of the new legalizing marijuana law. Arizona law enforcement warns that it is still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana even to the slightest degree. Arizona drivers must be aware that they can and will be arrested for an Arizona Marijuana DUI regardless if the use is for medical or recreational use.
What are the Penalties for a DUI in Arizona?
Arizona has notoriously harsh DUI penalties. Most DUI charges in Arizona are misdemeanors, but aggravating factors can increase the charges to a felony. Even if you have no prior criminal record, there is mandatory jail time for a first DUI conviction. The mandatory minimum jail sentence for a first DUI is 10 days, but 9 of those can be commuted. For second and subsequent DUI convictions, the minimum jail sentence is 90 days. That can be suspended as low as 30 days if the driver completes drug and alcohol treatment.
The fines for your first DUI will be at least $1,480, but the judge can order higher fines if they find it appropriate. Your driver’s license will be suspended for at least 90 days, and will be subject to restrictions upon its reinstatement. For a second or subsequent DUI, the base fine is $3,000. Your driver’s license will be revoked for one year, but may be eligible for a restricted license after 45 days. If you get a third DUI in a seven year period, you will receive an aggravated DUI, which is a felony charge.
In Arizona, anyone convicted of an alcohol DUI will need to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle if they want to continue driving. It is usually a condition the driver must fulfill as part of their driver’s license restrictions. This may not be necessary in a marijuana DUI case. The judge may order you to use an ignition interlock device if there was alcohol involved in your arrest, but probably won’t do so if you didn’t have any alcohol in your system. However, keep in mind that if you are ordered to use an ignition interlock device, it won’t be cheap. You may need to pay an installation fee, and monthly fees range from $75-$125.
After a DUI conviction, you may also be required to obtain and maintain SR-22 (high risk) driver’s insurance for up to 3 years. In Arizona, drivers who switch to SR-22 coverage typically see their rates at least double. You may need to complete drug counseling, which can come with additional costs that increase the more hours you are ordered to take. Most people convicted of DUI in Arizona are ordered to complete at least 30 hours of community service.
What Should I do if I am Arrested for Marijuana DUI in Arizona?
When you are taken into custody, you shouldn’t admit to anything until you get a chance to talk to your Arizona DUI defense attorney. Don’t give up hope that our life is ruined after a DUI arrest. A public defender will be appointed to your case if you can’t afford an attorney, but you also have the right to hire your own. There may be many defenses available in your face, from reasonable suspicion and probable cause, to chain of custody of evidence challenges. An experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney can assist you with many possible solutions to avoid a DUI arrest.
Your Arizona Zero Down DUI Attorney may be able to negotiate your charges down to reckless driving, which doesn’t carry mandatory jail time, or have your charges dismissed or acquitted. Contact Arizona Zero Down DUI and learn about the probable outcome of your case today with your free consultation. Your call is 100% free and confidential. Receive your competitive quote for expert legal representation from one of our attorneys today!
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