brian sloan profile picture

In Arizona: The Presence of Marijuana Metabolites Is Considered a Crime if They Are Present While You Are Driving

This month-old metabolite, which is inactive, doesn’t have any impairing effects at all, but simply by it being present, it is a crime if you were driving.

Interviewer: So if you haven’t smoked in two weeks and you’re obviously not impaired but you have metabolite present in your system, they will still charge you with DUI and you say that it’s still a crime?

Brian: Correct and the Arizona Court of Appeals recently confirmed that. That even though it is not impairing, even though it can stay in your system for a month, it is against Arizona law to drive while having marijuana’s metabolite in your system.

Interviewer: Does that even make sense?

Brian: No, it doesn’t and that’s going up to the Supreme Court, but that’s how the Court of Appeals just ruled in a published opinion so that is what all of the courts have to follow.

It doesn’t make sense, I don’t know why there is any reason to punish someone who has a marijuana metabolite in his or her system when it sticks around for about a month but that’s the state of the law.

Defending a Marijuana-Related DUI Charge: Did the Police Have Reasonable Suspicion to Order a Chemical Test?

Now, the issue becomes under what theory did the officer have or what reason did the officer have to get the person’s blood or urine in the first place? If we are talking about the marijuana metabolite’s metabolite showing up in somebody’s blood or urine, what reason did that officer have to suspect that someone was under the influence especially if the only thing that’s in his or her system is something that has no intoxicating effect and has no impairing effect?

You can still try and argue against the admission of that evidence, saying that the officer obviously could not have seen the signs and symptoms of marijuana usage when the only thing that came back was a non-impairing metabolite of marijuana. Sometimes people are charged and convicted and it’s ridiculous but the law says it’s fine.

Interviewer: It’s just the bias that’s making marijuana one of the most unnecessarily dangerous things you can ingest. Cocaine and heroin and all of the other illegal drugs don’t seem to stay in the body nearly as long, right?

Brian: No, marijuana is one of the substances that stays in the blood stream and the the urine longer than any other drug or metabolite. Here’s the other issue that comes into play, the problem is, is that a person who smoked marijuana will have active THC in their system for maybe a day or so.

Second-Hand Smoke: Being in the Regular Presence of a Marijuana Smoker Will Result in the Metabolite Being Present in Your System

They will have the marijuana’s metabolite’s metabolite in their system for about a month. The person who is around someone who smokes marijuana but they do not smoke marijuana can have marijuana’s metabolite in their system.

Even though they have never smoked marijuana, if they are around someone enough they may have the metabolite of marijuana in their system and that could show up 30 days later.

To add more insult to injury, Arizona law–when it passed the medical marijuana law–could have simply put a provision in the law that said if you know someone or if you are a friend of someone, who has a medical marijuana card and is smoking medical marijuana you do not have a duty to “run away.”

You can keep company with your friend or relative who is smoking marijuana on their valid medical marijuana card. If you’re doing that and you happen to be inhaling the marijuana that they are exhaling, you could end up with a metabolite in your system.

Even if You Have the Marijuana Metabolite Present From Inhaling Second-Hand Smoke, You Will Be Subject to the Maximum Penalty

You can literally be convicted of a DUI for driving with marijuana metabolite in your system when you have never smoked marijuana in your life.

Interviewer: That’s completely ridiculous. Is there any distinction in the level of punishment if you have active metabolites in your system or is it inactive for any illegal drug?

Brian: There is no difference between the active substance of a drug or the metabolites.

The Penalty Could Result in a One-Year Loss of Your Driver’s License

Here’s the kicker, when we are discussing having either the drug or the drug’s metabolite or the drug’s metabolite’s metabolite, whether it is prescription medication or an illegal drug, if there is a conviction on any of those your license is revoked for one year.

If you were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol your license would be suspended for 90 days. If it due to illegal drugs or prescription medications it is revoked for one year.

This becomes a much worse punishment for people who are literally doing what they are legally entitled to do in taking their prescription medications.

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