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Since the use of marijuana is legal under state laws in Arizona, driving high is technically a crime under Arizona’s zero-tolerance law. Getting arrested for marijuana DUI in Arizona carries heavy fines along with a one year suspension of the driving privileges. According to state laws, it is prohibited for anyone to drive with marijuana or its metabolites in their system.
The word “its metabolite” was considered to be plural as well as singular in an appellate court ruling, meaning that even an inert metabolite of marijuana’s active ingredient, THC, is prohibited by law, even though it can stay in the body for weeks after the drug was last used.
What Happens When Someone Is Pulled Over On Suspicion Of Marijuana DUI?
According to the Arizona police, they will only stop someone on suspicion of driving high unless they exhibit obvious signs of impairment. However, at times when the police are overly aggressive in their hunt to track down impaired drivers, they may stop individuals and have them tested for intoxication. If the driver’s blood sample shows any sign of pot metabolites, it may result in a conviction.
In Arizona, motorists are not allowed to be “impaired to the slightest degree.” Since people have different tolerance levels, they may consume certain amounts of alcohol or marijuana before getting behind the wheel. Some people may seem very impaired even after consuming a little amount of pot, whereas others may not seem impaired at all after consuming a lot of pot. Here are some ways you can avoid a marijuana DUI in zero-tolerance Arizona:
- Don’t Use Marijuana! – This is of course the most obvious answer. When you have no metabolites in your system, there won’t be a conviction. Period.
- Get educated – If you are legally using marijuana under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), educate yourself on how long marijuana metabolites can stay in your body. You should know that it will be weeks before you’ll be able to legally drive in Arizona after consuming marijuana.
- Don’t Drive After Using Marijuana – If you have used your legal dose of marijuana, or any other intoxicant like alcohol or other drugs, then don’t drive. If you are stopped by an officer for showing any signs of intoxication, the officer may order a drug test. Even if you used marijuana days or weeks ago, the simple presence of the metabolites in your system will make your DUI case a lot less defensible. Some people think it is okay to drive after using prescribed drugs. If you are on prescription medications, be sure to consult with your doctor if you can drive or operate heavy machinery after taking that drug. Use of other drugs like cocaine or meth can also impact your ability to drive.
- Don’t Admit To Using Marijuana – Even if you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence of a drug, never admit to using marijuana. Any admissions you make will be used to build a criminal case against you, even if you say that you used marijuana “last week.”
- Refuse The Field Sobriety Tests – If the officer asks you to take the field sobriety test, politely refuse. It is better to not take the test instead of taking the test and making mistakes which will be used against you later on.
If you have been stopped and arrested on suspicion of marijuana DUI in Arizona, you need to contact 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.