Illegal Drug-Related DUIs

Interviewer: In terms of illegal drugs which is the most common ones that end up resulting in DUI charges?

Arizona Has Passed Medical Marijuana Laws

Brian: The most common illegal drug that we are seeing with DUIs is marijuana. This is probably because it does seem to be the most recreationally used drug. Also, it is because Arizona has passed medical marijuana laws.

There is a problem with the medical marijuana laws that I mentioned before is that it is a defense to have prescription medication that you are taking as prescribed. That is a defense to a count two DUI.

It is not a defense to count one impaired, but it is a defense account to having the drug metabolite present in your system.

Marijuana Usage Is Illegal at the Federal Level         

A problem comes into play because of the way the law was written about medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is not prescribed. The reason it is not prescribed is because a doctor cannot prescribe something that is technically illegal.

At the federal level marijuana is still illegal. Even if we are talking medical marijuana, which has been approved in the state of Arizona, it is not prescribed to people. It is “recommended” to people.

The Marijuana Laws Have Limits: Marijuana Cannot Be Legally Prescribed By a Doctor

Since medical marijuana is recommended to people, technically–and there is a lot of arguments about this–technically there is no defense to driving with marijuana in your system because it’s not prescribed.

Interviewer: Don’t you need a doctor to prescribe it to you?

Brian: You do need a doctor but they are not prescribing it because they cannot prescribe an illegal substance. A doctor cannot prescribe cocaine, they cannot prescribe heroine, and legally they cannot prescribe marijuana.

This is even more clouded, especially when we are talking about Arizona, when you have certain states around us–I believe Colorado has recently passed laws–that says you can smoke marijuana. If I remember correctly, it is completely legal to smoke marijuana for personal use.

Interviewer: It is now both Washington State and Colorado.

Brian: People might visit Washington and they might visit Colorado, they might do what is completely legal in those states and come home to Arizona or come visit Arizona and face a different scenario.

Marijuana Metabolites Are Present in Your System for Some Time

The problem with marijuana is that the metabolites of marijuana can stay in a person’s system of up to about a month.

A person cannot leave their metabolites at the border. If they did something that is perfectly legal in Colorado or perfectly legal in Washington they can’t drop off their metabolites at the border. They are going to bring their metabolites just like they bring everything else inside of them when they come into Arizona.

The problem is that if someone is pulled over for whatever reason and the officer notices bloodshot, watery eyes, it is maybe because they are tired. If he or she notices the smell of marijuana, maybe it is because they are wearing an old shirt or someone else smoked marijuana in the car.

If the person ends up getting arrested for suspicion of DUI and they end up taking the person’s blood or the person’s urine, very likely they will find the metabolite of marijuana in their system.

By Brian Douglas Sloan

Call me today for an
‘In Depth’ Free Consultation

Brian Douglas Sloan


Phoenix DUI Lawyer

Why Attorney Brian Douglas Sloan?


18+ Years SOLELY Focused on DUI Defense


4,100+ 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


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

I have spent my entire career focused on DUI Defense representation, having defended more than 4,100+ DUI clients in the past 18+ years.

If you’re looking for a divorce attorney, tax attorney, or civil attorney, then I can comfortably say: “I’m not the one for you”.

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 that is what they think people want to hear. The truth of the matter is, being “aggressive” rarely gets the client anywhere in these court systems. Being “aggressive” isn’t the same as being good.

The same is true for the lawyers that claim to do DUI Defense… and Criminal Cases…, and Accident cases…, and Divorces. A Jack-of-all-Trades is a master of none. By handling all different 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.

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

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

Brian Douglas Sloan

DUI Attorney

Free Initial

Email address:
2 N. Central Ave Suite 1929
Phoenix, AZ 85004