Drugged driving, or driving under the influence of drugs in Arizona can result in a drug DUI conviction. Drugged driving is defined as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an illegal substance, or even a legal substance if the driver is impaired at the time of driving.
Who Can Be Convicted Of Drugged Driving in Arizona?
Anyone operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a legal or illegal substance that resulted in impairment at the time of driving will lead to a drug DUI charge in Arizona.
Driving under the influence of drugs is criminalized under two statutes:
A.R.S. §28-1381(A)(1) – This statute states that a person cannot operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, any drug, an inhalant that contains a vapor releasing substance, or a combination of these. If a person is found impaired to the slightest degree, then they can be charged with driving under the influence. If the person used legally prescribed medications or used the medication without the doctor’s recommendation, the person can be charged with DUI if the officer believes that it has impaired their ability to drive.
A.R.S. §28-1381(A)(3) – This statute states that it is illegal for a person to drive a motorized vehicle while under the influence of any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in their body. These drugs include marijuana, narcotic drugs, dangerous drugs, and prescription medications (if taken without a valid prescription). According to the statute, it is irrelevant whether the person was actually impaired at the time of driving. Simply having the drug metabolite in their system will lead to a drug DUI charge in Arizona.
Drug metabolites are what is left behind when the liver breaks down the drug. Certain drugs like marijuana, can remain in the system for weeks, well after the effects of the drug have worn off.
What Are The Penalties For A Drug DUI In Arizona?
The penalties for a drug DUI in Arizona are similar to a DUI charge for drinking and driving. A drug DUI charge can have severe and mandatory penalties.
A first time drug DUI in Arizona is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor and can carry a jail sentence of up to 6 months if convicted. The offender is also required to undergo a drug screening and treatment program and pay a fine of up to $2,500 along with surcharges. They may also be required to undergo probation for up to 5 years.
If the offender is a repeat offender, with a prior drug DUI conviction within 7 years, they will have to serve a minimum of 30 days in jail, enroll in an alcohol / drug screening and treatment program and required to undergo probation for up to 5 years.
Anyone charged with a drug DUI may face a 1 year suspension of their driver’s license. The person will not have the ability to obtain a restricted driver’s license during that time period.
If you are facing a drug DUI charge in Arizona, it is important to get in touch with an experienced DUI attorney in Arizona and get your charges reduced or dismissed.