brian sloan profile picture


Interviewer: How long does the carboxy-THC stay in the system?

Brian Sloan: I think some studies put it as long as 45 days. Most people get rid of it within about 30 days, and so people smoke marijuana – sometimes legally, sometimes illegally – but this metabolite of the marijuana, or rather a metabolite of the metabolite of marijuana, can stay in your system for upwards of a month or so. People were getting convicted simply because it was present. Before this Arizona Supreme Court ruling came out, basically, if the case went in front of a jury, the jury was to decide whether this metabolite of the metabolite of marijuana was in a person’s system and whether they was driving. If the person was driving with this metabolite in their system that’s all the prosecutor needed to prove in order to prove that someone was guilty. As ridiculous as it was, people were being found guilty because 30 days earlier they had smoked marijuana.

The Issue of Medical Marijuana

Interviewer: Let’s say my mom has glaucoma and is a medical marijuana user. Sometime last year, if she had received treatment a week prior and then got pulled over by a police officer for some sort of traffic infraction, she could have had a DUI, in other words, right?

Brian Sloan: Well, we are still dealing with medical marijuana issues and the Arizona Supreme Court didn’t really deal with the issue of medical marijuana and whether someone who is taking medical marijuana is excluded from Arizona DUI laws; that is still up in the air. We have not received any sort of precedent setting a ruling on that yet.

Interviewer: Could the metabolites enter the system through secondhand smoke?

Brian Sloan: Absolutely, and people were coming in with carboxy-THC in their system even though they had not consumed or used marijuana themselves. Simply being in a room amongst other people could result in someone having carboxy-THC in their system. Sometimes people could use hemp oil and possibly have carboxy-THC in their system. There are certain types of foods and beverages that contain byproducts of marijuana, and they might have carboxy-THC in their system.

Now we have certain states – Washington and Colorado – where people are allowed to smoke small quantities of marijuana. People can’t leave their metabolites at the border. They’re in Colorado. They smoke marijuana legally. They come down to Arizona 30 days later. They get pulled over for doing a California rolling stop and the officer thinks that the person has droopy eyes and the person admits to smoking marijuana 30 days earlier in Colorado. They test positive for carboxy-THC and they get arrested and convicted of DUI. That used to be something that could happen. Now, after the Arizona Supreme Court has come down with this ruling, it cannot happen.

State ex rel. Montgomery v. Harris

Interviewer: What exactly does the Arizona Supreme Court ruling specify, when did this happen, and how long did it take?

Brian Sloan: It happened in April 2014. It probably took a couple of years. The case was State ex rel. Montgomery v. Harris. It concerned a man by the name of Shilgevorkyan. It was referred to as the Shilgevorkyan case. Basically, the Arizona Supreme Court held that it was never the intent of the legislature in forming DUI laws to include carboxy-THC, which has no impairing effects and cannot influence the way a person is driving, and therefore a person should not be able to be convicted of a DUI simply for having carboxy-THC in their system.

My understanding is that the case started out in misdemeanor courts. I believe the trial judge agreed with the defense that the law never meant for carboxy-THC to be considered a metabolite that could be used against someone in a DUI case. It went to the lower court of appeals, where the lower court of appeals again agreed with the defense attorney. It then went to the court of appeals, where the court of appeals said, “We don’t care; a metabolite is a metabolite, whether it’s impairing or not,” so they overturned the lower court of appeals’ ruling and kept things the way that they had been for decades: that a metabolite, whether it’s impairing or non-impairing, can be used against someone in a DUI case.

Then the Arizona Supreme Court took up the issue and said this was never the legislature’s intent, and you cannot use a non-impairing metabolite to convict someone of a DUI. It was specifically on marijuana, but there is an argument that if someone else has some other type of non-impairing metabolite in their system that those people also cannot be found guilty of a DUI.

Now, this does not mean that if you have the active marijuana in your system or the active marijuana metabolite in your system that you can’t be convicted; you still can. Even if it’s smoked marijuana, it’s arguable and the case law isn’t clear yet, but you can still be convicted. It is solely for those people who have only carboxy-THC in their system; those people cannot be convicted of DUIs. Those people should not be charged. Something that I’m working on now is going back to those folks over the past couple of decades now who have pled guilty or have been found guilty at trial of being convicted for solely having carboxy-THC in their system and getting those cases overturned because the Arizona Supreme Court made it clear in this April 2004 case that the legislature never intended for someone to be convicted of a DUI simply for having a non-impairing metabolite in their system.

By Brian Douglas Sloan

city view

Call me today for an
‘In Depth’ Free Consultation

brian sloan profile picture
Brian Douglas Sloan


aerial view of arizona
Best DUI Lawyer in Phoenix

Why DUI Attorney Brian Douglas Sloan?


19+ Years SOLELY Focused on DUI Defense


4,200+ DUIs Successfully Defended

Top Accolades

  • Only DUI "Power Lawyer" in the Nation Featured in USA Today, 2022

  • Top 10 in Arizona

Top 1%

Top One Percent in the Nation

Superb 10/10

4.9 / 5.0


brian sloan on the cover of attorney at law magazine

“I am one of only a handful of Phoenix DUI Lawyers that focuses solely on DUI Defense representation.”

I have spent my entire career SOLELY focused on Arizona DUI Defense Representation, having personally defended more than 4,400 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) clients in the past 19+ years.

If you’re looking for a Divorce Attorney, Tax Attorney, Civil Attorney, etc., I can comfortably say, "I’m not the one for you." I ONLY defend DUI cases in most of Maricopa County, Arizona.

Coming up with traditional, as well as outside-the-box motions and defenses for my clients, often with good results, is the hallmark of my practice.

Lawyers that say they are "aggressive" or "will fight for you" are a dime a dozen. They use these phrases because it is a proven advertising phrase. Being "aggressive" isn’t the same as being good, and is often used to put on a show to hide the fact that they aren’t doing anything meaningful for the client.

The same is true for the Lawyers claiming to do DUI Defense, and Criminal Cases, and Accident Cases, and Divorces, etc. A Jack-of-all-Trades is a master of none! By handling all sorts of cases, they take away from their ability to truly focus on DUIs, and keep up-to-date on the latest changes in DUI Defense Representation.

What I offer is intelligent, quality DUI Defense at an exceptional price. Unlike many other law firms, if you hire The Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan, you actually get me representing you, doing all the work, and working the case. You aren’t hiring one guy with all the experience, but getting the underling with very little knowledge or experience.

I work seven days a week on my client’s cases, and spend hours laying all my thoughts out for my clients in writing, so they can understand their options, and my recommendations. No other DUI Lawyer in the state does this. I try to do what I can to go above-and-beyond for my clients. I hate when the businesses I deal with nickel-and-dime me with hidden costs, and I take pride in not doing that to my clients.

I have not only taught other lawyers how to do DUI Defense Representation at statewide seminars, but I have produced DUI Legal Guides used by defense lawyers across Arizona.

I am one of Arizona's most award-winning DUI Defense Lawyers, as well as being recognized nationally. I was the only DUI Defense Lawyer in the United States named a "Power Lawyer" in a 2022 issue of USA Today

There are no other private Lawyers in Arizona that have personally defended more DUI cases than I have. And as a bonus, I offer a very reasonable flat rate for my legal services, with a payment plan, and without any hidden charges. This guarantees that I offer some of the most competitive rates among all Arizona DUI Attorneys, while being a well-documented and preeminent leader in the field of DUI Defense Representation.

Over the years, countless people have come to me after discovering that their first lawyer made a mistake, gave them false hope or false promises, or simply took their money and didn't do much to advance their case. And you would be surprised at how often this happens.

So, instead of wasting time and money on the wrong DUI Defense Attorney, do yourself a favor and get the proven and well-recognized best DUI Lawyer in Phoenix and the surrounding areas of Maricopa County.

You can reach me on my personal cell phone at 480-720-7839 for a Free ‘In Depth’ Consultation.

I personally defend DUI cases in urban Maricopa County City, Town, and Justice Courts, including:

Ahwatukee / Agua Fria / Arcadia Biltmore / Avondale / Buckeye / Chandler / Country Meadows / Desert Ridge / Dreamy Draw / Downtown / East Mesa / El Centro / Encanto / Gilbert / Glendale / Goodyear / Guadalupe / Highland / Kyrene / Litchfield Park / Maryvale / McDowell Mountain / Mesa / Moon Valley / North Mesa / Peoria / Phoenix / Queen Creek / San Marcos / San Tan / South Mountain / Scottsdale / Tempe / University Lakes / West McDowell / West Mesa / White Tank

For any other Courts in the State of Arizona, including Felony cases, I would recommend my associates on The Arizona DUI Team, whom I work closely with, but I am not the one personally representing the client.

dui attorney brian sloan headshot

Brian Douglas Sloan

DUI Attorney

Free Initial

small mail icon
Email address:
small location icon
2 N. Central Ave Suite 1929
Phoenix, AZ 85004
triangle pattern