Anyone found driving under the influence of marijuana and impaired to the slightest degree in Arizona will be charged under A.R.S. 28-1381(A)(1) of the Arizona Revised Statutes. It does not matter whether the person used marijuana illegally or had a legal prescription for the marijuana, the state of Arizona will charge anyone driving under the influence of marijuana with a DUI.
According to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), which was passed as a citizens’ initiative in 2010, licensed medical marijuana users cannot be prosecuted for using marijuana if they stay within the parameters of the statute. However, the DUI state laws forbid anyone from driving if they are impaired by marijuana to the slightest degree. The two Arizona statutes are conflicting to each other.
Any Arizona resident can benefit from the Arizona Medical Marijuana law. However, they must be aware that their medical status does not grant them an automatic get-out-of-jail-card when it comes to DUI laws. Even if the person seemed sober and showed no signs of intoxication, the State can prove that marijuana caused impaired driving, resulting in a DUI conviction.
Penalties for DUI marijuana in Arizona
A first time DUI marijuana is considered a misdemeanor and carries the following penalties:
- Minimum 1 day in prison, up to a maximum of 6 months
- Fines and fees ranging from $1,470
- Mandatory substance abuse program
- Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
- Driver’s license revoked for 1 year
A second offense DUI marijuana within 7 years carries the following punishments:
- Minimum jail sentence of 30 days
- Fines and fees starting from $3,430
- At least 30 hours of community service
- Driver’s license revoked for 18 months
- Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
A third offense DUI marijuana will be considered a felony and carries harsher penalties and fines.
Presence of Marijuana Metabolites
If a person is arrested in Arizona for alleged DUI and is found to have traces of marijuana metabolites in their system, they can be arrested and charged with DUI even if they do not show any impairing effects at all.
Marijuana metabolites can remain in the system for up to a month. Although their presence in the system will not cause impairment, simply having the metabolite present in the system will result in a DUI charge in Arizona.
If you are facing a marijuana DUI charge in Arizona, you need to get in touch with an experienced DUI defense attorney right away. Contact the Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan at 480-900-0384 or 602-900-0384 for a Free Initial Consultation to build a strong defense strategy.