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What happens if I’m arrested for a Drug DUI?

Armando Nava

DUI is most commonly associated with alcohol. Most people are surprised to find out that DUI laws encompass impairment by drugs as well. “Even prescription drugs?” you ask, hypothetical reader I just made up. Yes, even prescription drugs. DUI-Drugs (“DUID”) have increased slightly over the past few years, as States have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. Now, drug DUIs are in the spotlight thanks to Tiger Woods and his infamous arrest on May 29, 2017. So, what is a DUI Drug charge in Arizona?

A.R.S. 28-1381A(3) states that it is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while there is any drug or its metabolite in the person’s body. Fortunately, our legislature knew that many Arizonans take prescription medication, so there is an exception. A person using a drug as prescribed by a medical practitioner who is licensed and authorized to prescribe the drug is not guilty of violating the law. That’s that right? Not so fast!

Prosecutors also charge DUID under A.R.S. 28-1381A(1) which punishes a person for being impaired to the slightest degree. If the drug you were taking impairs you, even to the slightest degree, you can be found guilty of DUID. To overcome such a charge, a person generally will need a doctor to testify that the prescription medication was taken as prescribed.

DUID can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor, but first offenders generally receive a misdemeanor charge. If convicted, you face up to 6 months in jail and mandatory fines and fees of roughly $1,500.00. You also face a one year suspension of your driver’s license if convicted.

Unfortunately, just a small amount of a drug in your system is enough to charge you with DUID. That is why it is imperative you contact an attorney who fights these cases on a daily basis. An experienced DUID attorney will be able to challenge your blood test results and prepare a defense.

If you’ve been charged with DUID in Arizona, contact The Nava Law Firm for a free consultation at 602-734-3657.

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