Arizona’s Drugged Driving Laws Covers Alcohol and Marijuana Usage
In Arizona, it is unlawful for a person to drive a vehicle (1) while under the influence of any drug, or any combination of liquor and/or drugs if the person is impaired to the slightest degree, OR (2) while there is any drug or its metabolite in the person’s body. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 28-1381(A)(1), (3) (West 2010). However, a registered qualifying medical use patient shall not be considered to be under the influence solely for having marijuana metabolites in his or her system. However, there are numerous defenses available for a defendant charged with Arizona’s drugged driving law. Arizona’s interpretation of the federal Constitution allows law enforcement officials to conduct sobriety checkpoints.
Choosing an experienced defense attorney is your first step. Choosing an experienced defense attorney experienced in defending drugged driving is an even smarter choice. Our office is proud to be a committee member of NORML, a leading advocate for defending and promoting use of marijuana laws.
Arizona has a zero tolerance per se drugged driving law enacted for cannabis, cannabis metabolites, and other controlled substances. (Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 28-1381) Arizona’s law calls for mandatory imprisonment of 24 hours and not more than six months upon conviction for a first offense.
- First offense – jail for 10 to 180 days; alcohol and/or drug treatment; fine of approximately $1,800 (plus jail costs); license suspension for 90 days; probation for up to five years; community service; offender may be ordered to attend one or more sessions of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victims Impact Panel; ignition interlock device required for 12 months. Id. §§ 28-1381 (I)-(J).
- Second offense – jail for of 90 to 180 days; approximately $3,500 in fines and costs; license revoked for one year; substance abuse evaluation; probation for up to five years; minimum of 30 hours of community service; offender may be ordered to attend one or more sessions of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victims Impact Panel. Id. §§ 28-1381(K)-(N).
- Third offense (w/i 7 years, or with suspended license) Class Four Aggravated Felony – minimum of 4 months in prison; the State may seize vehicle; up to $150,000 in fines (+80% surcharge); license revocation for three years; probation for up to five years. Id. §§ 28-1383 (J)-(K).