In all states throughout the country, a driver can get a DUI for driving under the influence of drugs, whether they are legal or illegal. According to Arizona law, you cannot operate a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.
Unlike alcohol, there is no “legal limit” to determine if someone is under the influence based on their blood alcohol content (BAC) level. As long as drug metabolites are found in the driver’s system – even if the driver was not impaired at the time of the arrest – he/she can be charged with a DUI.
When a liver breaks down an ingested drug, the remains are known as drug metabolites. Although some drugs, such as cannabis, can stay in a person’s system for weeks without feeling the effects of the substance, the Arizona court of appeals has recently upheld this law because drug metabolites were present at the time of the arrest.
But what if a driver has a prescription for the drug? While it is perfectly legal to possess prescribed medicine (including medical marijuana), the fact that you are entitled to take a drug in Arizona is not a viable defense for a DUI charge.
The penalties for a drugged driving conviction are the same as an alcohol-related DUI. A first DUI offense is punishable by a maximum jail term of 180 days, probation for up to five years, community service, fines of up to $1,800, and driver’s license suspension for 90 days.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a drugged DUI in Yuma County, look no further than Bowman, Smith & Kallen, P.L.L.C. to protect your rights. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and discuss your case with our experienced legal team.