The state of Arizona follows a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to marijuana DUI law. The Supreme Court of Arizona passed a ruling on 20 November, 2015, stating that holding a valid medical marijuana card in Arizona does not immunize individuals from being prosecuted for driving under the influence. However, individuals who are legally entitled to engage in the use of marijuana could offer an affirmative defense to criminal DUI charges if they are able to prove that the level of cannabis metabolite in their system was not enough to cause impairment.
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) was passed in 2010 which allowed qualifying patients to possess and use marijuana. A.R.S. § 36–2801 defines the law, stating that patients are not subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner. They are also not subject to denial, or any right or privilege. At the same time, the law also states that individuals operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana are not immunized. A.R.S. § 36–2802 states that an individual will not be considered impaired merely because the metabolites or components of marijuana are found to be at levels which are insufficient to cause impairment.
What Is Prohibited Under Arizona DUI Laws?
According to the state policies, DUI laws in Arizona prohibit the following:
- Driving under the influence of any drug if the person is impaired “to the slightest degree”
- Driving while any amounts of certain drugs are present in the person’s system, including marijuana
The DUI laws also state that patients who test positive for a prescribed drug or drugs are not subject to prosecution under the Zero Tolerance Law.
Marijuana Laws In Arizona
Looking at the overall reputation of the state, Arizona is one of the three states that has both a zero-tolerance driving policy for pot and has a law which legalizes the sale, possession, and use of medical marijuana.
Even if a person admits to smoking a small amount of pot before driving, it is still reasonable to ask whether his or her level of impairment is comparable to a 0.08% legal blood alcohol concentration level. Since Arizona is a zero-tolerance state, even the slightest hint of pot residue in the driver’s blood, including those of card-holding patients, is considered a crime and anyone riding high commits a legal foul.
In Arizona, the state must prove that the person had some amount of metabolites in their system in order to convict an individual for a marijuana DUI under the Zero Tolerance Law.
The person may then offer evidence as defense in order to rebut the presumption that those metabolites caused impairment.
If you have been charged for driving under the influence of marijuana in the state of Arizona, you need to get in touch with an experienced DUI defense attorney right away. Contact the Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan at 480-900-0384 or for a Free Initial Consultation to discuss your case.