Marijuana DUI Laws in Arizona
Over the last decade, the legal framework concerning the use of marijuana has changed tremendously. From being a prohibited substance, it became legal for medical use in 2010 and, with the adoption of Proposition 207 in 2020, for recreational use, as well. However, this does not mean that you cannot get charged under DUI Arizona law for being under the influence of marijuana while driving.
Ideally, you should not drive under the influence of any substance that may affect your ability to control the vehicle. However, many people rely on marijuana for medical purposes, and even carry a special card to prove it. We will discuss how laws in Arizona have changed their wording as a result of this.
Is Medical Use Acceptable according to DUI Arizona Law?
The basic legal text concerning prohibited substances is not helpful, as it clearly specifies cannabis and any “compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation” containing it. Moreover, since Arizona is an Implied Consent State, you may not refuse to take a blood or urine test.
However, the legislators have decided to add more sections to the Arizona Revised Statutes in order to enshrine the newly approved uses of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. Thus, ARS Section 36-2852(B) states that you are in violation of DUI Arizona law only if you are “impaired to the slightest degree”.
How Can Law Enforcement Officers Prove that You Are Impaired?
If you are pulled over by the police, the officers will first request you to take a breath alcohol test. Marijuana consumption will not cause you to fail this test if you did not drink alcohol.
However, the officers may be looking for other signs of impairment, such as:
- Red eyes
- Odor of cannabis
- Any kind of paraphernalia related to marijuana visible in your vehicle
- Delayed reaction time
- Slurred speech
- Poor hand to eye coordination.
Also, they may ask you to step out of the vehicle and take a field sobriety test. Please note that, under DUI Arizona law you are not under obligation to take it. Also, any experienced criminal defense attorney will tell you to refuse to take this test.
In many cases, perfectly sober people failed it due to their heightened emotional state, being tired or stressed.
What to Do If You Are Required to Provide a Blood Sample
You may not refuse to take a blood or urine sample, as we explained earlier in this article. However, according to DUI Arizona law, you have the right to retain legal representation before you do so.
And this is exactly what you should do: agree to take the test and immediately call a criminal defense attorney, explaining your situation. You will get preliminary instructions over the phone, telling you exactly what to say or do from now on.
Do Not Take The Situation Lightly – Call an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney!
No matter the outcome, you will need all the legal support you can get if you are pulled over and there are reasons to suspect you were driving under influence of marijuana. The DUI Arizona law provides some of the toughest sentences across the United States, including mandatory time in jail.
In case of marijuana use, a skilled criminal defense attorney can fight the charges and call various expert witnesses to demonstrate that you were not impaired to the slightest degree at the moment when you were pulled over.
Your entire future can be changed by a DUI sentence, so let a criminal defense attorney assist you!