Have you been charged with driving under the influence of drugs in Tucson? Have you consulted with an experienced Tucson drug DUI lawyer?
DUI is most commonly associated with the consumption of alcohol. However, you may be arrested for DUI in Arizona if you attempt to operate a vehicle while under the influence of any type of illegal substance. Furthermore, you may be charged with DUI in Tucson for legal or prescription drugs if the arresting officer believes you were impaired at the time of driving.
The statute that criminalizes driving under the influence of drugs is A.R.S. §28-1381, which states:
- It is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state under any of the following circumstances:
- While under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substances if the person is impaired to the slightest degree.
- While there is any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in the person’s body.
Drugs defined under section 13-3401 include marijuana (including medical marijuana), narcotic drugs, dangerous drugs, and prescription medications.
Arizona has a zero tolerance policy with regards to drug DUIs. When you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI an officer can ask you to take a blood test to determine whether you are intoxicated. If you test positive for drug metabolites in your system you may be convicted of DUI. Drug metabolites are created when the liver breaks down the drug. The amount of time drug metabolites remain in your system depends upon the drug. Marijuana metabolites, for example, may remain in your system for weeks, well after the effects of marijuana have worn off. Consequently, you could be convicted of drug DUI for simply having a trace amount of a drug in your system, well after the effects of the drug have worn off.
Penalties for Drug DUI in Tucson Arizona
Penalties for a drug DUI conviction are very severe, similar to the penalties for an alcohol-related DUI. Driving under the influence of drugs is a Class 1 Misdemeanor and carries with it significant mandatory penalties. For a first offense drug DUI you may be sentenced up to six months of jail, probation for up to 5 years, order you to attend alcohol and/or drug screening and treatment classes; and pay a fine of up to $2,500 plus surcharges. In addition, the MVD will suspend your license for a period of one year without you being able to obtain a restricted permit. If you were charged with Drug DUI after January 1, 2012, you will not be required to install an ignition interlock device to get your license reinstated.
Since the penalties for driving under the influence of drugs are so severe it’s important you consult with competent counsel as early in the process as possible. A skilled Tucson drug DUI lawyer will carefully analyze your case, determine the best defense strategy, and will carefully guide you through what is often an intimidating and complicated process. Contact the experienced Tucson drug DUI attorneys of Ariano & Associates for a free no-obligation consultation.