When people think of a DUI (driving under the influence), they usually think of alcohol-related offenses. However, a police officer can also pull you over and charge you with a DUI for driving under the influence of drugs—prescription or otherwise. Many prescription drugs can impair the ability to think clearly and act quickly, making them just as deadly as alcohol when the user gets behind the wheel of a vehicle.
DUI drug charges in Arizona are no laughing matter—in fact, they are quite grave. If found guilty, a defendant may face jail time, expensive fines, probation, drug treatment, and possibly driver’s license suspension. Having an accomplished criminal defense attorney in your corner will make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Van Norman Law defends drug DUI cases throughout the state of Arizona.
Arizona law ARS 28-1381 covers all DUI laws for the state, including alcohol and drugs. According to ARS 28-1381(A)(1), it is illegal for a person to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, a vapor-releasing substance, or any combination of those three. Under ARS 28-1381(A)(1), a police officer can charge a driver with a drug-related DUI if the driver took a legal prescription drug that weakened their ability to drive.
Additionally, ARS 28-1381(A)(3) states that it is illegal for a person to drive while there is any drug defined by ARS 13-3401 in their system. Those drugs include:
It’s important to note that impairment is not a deciding factor for arrest under ARS 28-1381(A)(3). The law says that if a driver is found with the metabolites (a substance left behind when the body breaks down and digests the drug) of these drugs in their body, an officer can arrest them and charge them with a drug DUI.
Penalties for drug DUIs in Scottsdale depend on whether this is the defendant’s first DUI. A first-time drug DUI charge in Arizona is a Class 1 misdemeanor with penalties that could include:
If a defendant already has a drug DUI conviction on their record from within the last seven years, they could face additional jail time, fees, probation, treatment, and license suspension.
In Arizona, drug DUI charges come with very harsh penalties, even for first-time offenders. Jail time, fines, mandatory treatments, probation, and license suspension can all have a major impact on your employment opportunities and quality of life. In many cases, drug DUI charges can be combined with other drug-related crimes.
Van Norman Law is a qualified criminal defense attorney well-versed in drug DUI laws in Arizona. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs, call us today for a free consultation. We can help defend your case!