In 2010, Arizona legalized the use of medically prescribed marijuana for individuals suffering from certain, defined conditions. Proposition 203 was approved by the voters of Arizona, and removes the criminal implications of use or possession of marijuana to those who can produce valid certification. Patients who qualify for such certification under this new law include those diagnosed with cancer, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, hepatitis C, Lou Gehrig’s disease and those tested positive for HIV or AIDS.
There are other medical cases other than those listed above that can allow someone to receive a recommendation for medical marijuana in Arizona. If you’ve been charged with a DUI stemming from the use of medial marijuana, than it is imperative you contact the Rosenstein Law Group for an aggressive defense.
Arizona legislature has yet to set a blood content limit for medial marijuana, which complicates the medical marijuana issue considerably. Unlike other states such as Washington, where the state is taking measures to adopt standards for regulating the use of medical marijuana, Arizona still counts medical marijuana in the list of “any drugs” concerning a driving standard for blood-content. Arizona Revised Statutes § 28.1381 states that it is unlawful to drive under the influence of “any drug” to the “slightest degree.” This means that there is no set standard for how much medical cannabis can be present in a patient’s system while driving. Unlike the standardized tests for blood alcohol content, which provides a guilty presumption only for drivers with a BAC of over .08, the approach to medical marijuana is harsher and relies heavily on the subjective analysis of the law enforcement officer at the scene.
A medical marijuana card only protects against charges of possession, and unfortunately, often does not play into any DUI cases resulting from the legal use of cannabis. Prior proper planning is the most important factor in the use of medical marijuana. You may feel like an “expert” at driving while having recently using cannabis, but something as small as a failure to signal your lane change can lead to a DUI arrest. Your best bet as a medical marijuana user is to be as cautious as possible, because a DUI arrest for medical marijuana is entirely subjective to the observations of the officer at the time of the stop. If stopped and asked out of the car, insist on speaking with an attorney immediately.
Since there are no set standards that separate legal use of medical marijuana from other drugs on the subject of driving, the penalties for a drug DUI charge is the same as any other substance. Conviction of DUI under A.R.S. § 28.1381 will result in being guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor and subjection to numerous fines and sanctions. If the accused can produce written certification for their marijuana prescription, they will not be subject to any drug possession charges pursuant to A.R.S. § 13.3409. However, sanctions and penalties may increase for DUI charges concerning medical marijuana based on the severity of the driving infractions or if the charges are repeated. As of now, medical marijuana patients also must fight potential DUI Drug charges under ARS 28.1381 A3 as well.
Since the law states that the driving must be impaired to the “slightest degree” in order to warrant an arrest for drug DUI, the burden of proof lies with the prosecutor. The standard for such impairment is low. However, defense against drug charges concerning medical marijuana are possible for DUI defense attorneys with knowledge of Arizona laws on the subject. Blood and urine tests will be required for the prosecution to prove it’s case against you, and that makes the tests subject to scrutiny by the defense attorney. The right DUI lawyer will be able to argue against this evidence based on the legality, reliability and administration of these tests.
Rosenstein Law Group is a firm dedicated to the defense of clients against DUI charges of all types. Board Certified in DUI Defense, Attorney Rosenstein holds the highest level of competence in DUI law, drug recognition, and field sobriety testing – crucial factors that can be applied to your defense. If you have been charged with drug DUI concerning the use of medical marijuana, contact a Tempe DUI attorney at our firm to discuss your case and how we may assist you in defending against the charges. There is too much at stake to risk a drug DUI conviction. Equip yourself with reliable and proven DUI defense by hiring Rosenstein Law Group as your advocate.