The Consequences Of Drug DUI Charges In Arizona
Have you been charged with driving under the influence of drugs? This is casually known as a drug DUI and is an increasingly common charge in Arizona. Drug DUI charges can be the result of driving after taking either an illegal drug, such as marijuana or cocaine or a prescription medication, even if the medication is being taken correctly as prescribed. Arizona law for drug DUI can be confusing, and you should never try to defend yourself against these charges. Consult with an experienced Chandler DUI defense attorney to protect your rights and promote a better outcome.
Arizona DUI Law
Arizona DUI laws are among the strictest in the nation. Arizona drug DUI charges can be divided into two parts: driving with a drug (illegal or prescription) in your system, and impairment as a result of the drug. According to state law, you can be charged with a drug DUI if you are “impaired to the slightest degree” even if you are using a prescription medication as prescribed. You can also be charged if there are any illegal drugs in your bloodstream.
Driving Under The Influence of Drugs
Arizona state code indicates that it is unlawful to drive while there is a drug or its metabolite, as defined in the state code, in your body. Some commonly used drugs that are listed in the state statues and are frequently tested for by law enforcement during these cases include:
- Oxycodone, including Percocet and OxyContin
- Hydrocodone, including Lortab and Vicodin
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
- Amphetamine (Adderall)
- Zolpidem (Ambien)
- Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
Effectively, Arizona state statutes make it illegal to drive if any of these medications are in your body while you operate a vehicle. However, your Mesa DUI defense lawyer may be able to defend against these charges in court if you were taking the drug as prescribed by a licensed medical professional. The burden of proof will be on you and your attorney.
Impaired Ability to Drive
Even if you have a legal prescription for the medication found in your body while driving, you can be charged with a drug DUI in Arizona if you are impaired “to the slightest degree.” However, if you have a valid prescription and were not impaired while driving, you are not in violation of the state statute. If you’ve been charged with a drug DUI, your Apache Junction DUI defense attorney can help you understand the charges and circumstances of your situation.
What Are The Penalties of a Drug DUI?
Arizona state law indicates that driving under the influence of drugs is a class 1 misdemeanor. Technically, this type of misdemeanor is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, up to $2500 in fines, and up 5 years of probation. However, the mandatory minimum penalty is much less. Penalties for a drug DUI in Arizona are more likely to include:
- At least one day in jail
- Courses on drugs and alcohol
- $2000 in fines and fees
- 90 day suspension of your driver’s license
- Criminal conviction on your record
As with other criminal convictions, the severity of the penalties will vary depending on the circumstances and any prior criminal convictions you may have. Your Arizona criminal defense attorney can defend against the charges and help you understand all of your legal options.
Defending Against a Drug DUI
Drug DUIs are some of the most defensible DUI charges. Since field sobriety tests can be unreliable, and the results can be tainted by medical conditions such as eye problems, head trauma, and more, the primary evidence in most drug DUIs will involve the question of whether the driver was actually impaired.
Evidence commonly submitted to attempt to prove impairment includes police statements of poor driving behavior, car accident reports if applicable, field sobriety test results, drug examination results, and toxicology. However, unlike in an alcohol DUI, the level of drug in a person’s blood is a poor predictor of impairment. A San Tan Valley DUI defense attorney who understands Arizona law and the complexities of the technical aspects of drug DUIs can attack multiple aspects of the investigation that took place after a drug DUI charge.
Get Representation From an Experienced Drug DUI Lawyer
Successful resolution of drug DUI cases requires a specialized attorney who understands Arizona state law and has experience handling these types of cases. The legal team at Dove Law Firm has extensive experience successfully defending against drug DUI charges in negotiations and at trial. We will work to protect your rights, gather evidence, and investigate the situation for a comprehensive defense. Contact Dove Law Firm today to schedule your free, confidential consultation with our attorneys.
Arizona Injury Lawyer
2650 E Southern Ave Suite 201
Mesa, AZ 85204
Phone: (480) 213-4489
Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer
10554 E Thornton Ave
Mesa, AZ 85212
Phone: (877) 368-3529