In November 2016, many Arizona voters voiced their concerns regarding the potential increase of DUI’s that would come with the legalization of recreational marijuana. The results of the vote favored against the legalization of the substance. However, the state still has many qualifying patients under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA).
In Arizona, it is illegal for a person to operate a vehicle while under the influence of any drug, or any combination of alcohol and/or drugs. Additionally, it is also illegal to drive while there is any drug or its metabolite in your body. However, a registered qualifying medical use patient shall not be considered to be under the influence solely for having marijuana metabolites present in their system.
A medical marijuana cardholder is still vulnerable to being charged with a DUI, although they are able to raise an affirmative defense. According to the courts, legal patients can establish an affirmative defense by proving that they were using AMMA authorized marijuana for medical purposes. Furthermore, they must prove that the metabolite in their system was not a high enough concentration to impair their driving.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, it is important to not go to court alone. These cases can be very difficult due to the complexities of the law. If you are found guilty the consequences can stay with you for years.
• A first-time misdemeanor drug DUI exposes a person to 10-day jail terms, suspension of driver’s license, fines, assessments, and fees of $1,250.00, substance abuse screening and testing, probation, and other penalties the judge deems necessary.
• A second DUI within 7 years calls for increased penalties of jail terms to 90 days, fines, fees, assessments to $3,000.00, and driver’s license revocation for 1 year.
• A third DUI within 7 years will elevate a misdemeanor DUI to a felony DUI. Punishments for felony DUI expose a person to 4 months in prison, and fines of up to $4,000.00.
• A fourth DUI in 7 years calls for 8-month prison terms, and fines of up to $4,000.00.
If you need an expert DUI attorney to fight for you and your rights, call the DUI Defense Team at 520-222-2222 to arrange a free consultation.