There are two types of misdemeanor Drug DUIs in the State of Arizona:
Arizona Revised Statutes §28-1381 (A)(1) makes it illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of 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.
This section of the statute makes this offense illegal even if a person is under the influence of a legally prescribed medication but the person is taking the medication outside of his or her doctor’s recommendations or where an Officer believes that the drug, despite it being prescribed, is impairing the person’s ability to drive.
Arizona Revised Statutes §28-1381 (A)(3) makes it illegal to drive with a drug or its metabolite whether illegal or illicit in a person’s body. “Illegal” drugs include, but are not limited to, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, etc. that are usually illegal for everyone to use. An “illicit” drug is a legal prescription drug that is possessed by someone who does not have a valid prescription to consume or possess the drugs.
This section of the statute makes this offense a “strict liability” crime. Because it is a strict liability crime, it is irrelevant whether or not you are impaired by the drug while driving. It is enough that you have the drug and/or its metabolite in your system. For example, this means that if you smoke marijuana thirty (30) days prior to driving and you are pulled over for a traffic stop, and the officer suspects use of drugs, and you still have the drug or metabolite in your system, then you can be cited for DUI Drugs.
Penalties for Drug DUI in Phoenix Arizona
Like DUI alcohol offenses, the State of Arizona takes DUI Drug offenses serious too. Similar to the charges for DUI with alcohol in the system, the AZ State legislature has made the penalties for DUI Drug charges mandatory. A first offense DUI Drug or a second offense DUI Drug within seven (7) years is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor. For a class 1 misdemeanor DUI Drug first offense, Arizona law allows a judge to punish you by up to six (6) months of jail; order you to attend alcohol and/or drug screening and treatment classes; and pay a fine of up to $2,500 plus surcharges. A judge may also order you to serve up to five (5) years of probation.
The minimum a person can receive for a first offense DUI Drugs is ten days of jail but nine of those days can be suspended upon completion of drug screening and treatment classes. Arizona law further allows a judge to order a fine of up to $2,500 plus surcharges. In addition, a judge may order you to serve up to five (5) years of probation.
If you have a prior DUI within seven (7) years or eighty four (84) months of being charged with a second Drug DUI, then you are facing a minimum of thirty days of jail time; alcohol and/or drug screening and treatment classes; a fine of up to $2,500 plus surcharges, and up to five (5) years of probation.
The biggest difference in a Drug DUI and DUI alcohol offense is the collateral consequence imposed by the motor vehicle department. In Arizona, if you have been convicted of a Drug DUI and the court sends an abstract to the motor vehicle department indicating that you were under the influence of a drug, the motor vehicle department will suspend your license for one year. During the one year, you are not entitled to obtain a restricted driver’s license. For DUI Drug charges after January 1, 2012, you are not required to install an ignition interlock device before reinstatement of your driver’s license.
If you have been arrested or charged with a Drug DUI, you need a DUI Drug lawyer who has a track record of successfully defending clients charged with Drug DUIs. Cindy Castillo of Castillo Law is highly trained and experienced as a Drug DUI lawyer and will aggressively defend your case. The moment you are stopped, you need to request an attorney and not perform any of the field sobriety tests offered in the field. If you are charged, you should hire an experienced DUI Drug lawyer, so that you can rest assured knowing that your case is being handled properly. Do not delay in hiring a lawyer. In order to give your attorney her best chance at fighting your Drug DUI, she needs time to adequately investigate the case and ensure that she can replicate the incident as it was at the time in question. Ms. Castillo will study your case carefully and come up with defense strategies, such as illegal traffic stop, actual physical control issues, no probable cause for the arrest, erroneous blood and/or breath results, coerced test issues and/or a denial of your constitutional and due process rights.
At Castillo Law, Cindy Castillo offers free consultations and affordable yet quality representation with proven results. This gives you an opportunity to gauge the knowledge and experience of the lawyer and also determine whether she is the right lawyer to fight your case.
Call Castillo Law for a Free Consultation 24/7 at (480) 206-5204. Se Habla Español.