When you are sick, you go to the doctor and if needed, they will provide you with a prescription. Now depending on the drug prescription, they will also advise you to not drive or drink while on this medication. Listen to these professionals, because this advice may save you from a DUI.
On April 22, 2014, the Arizona Supreme Court shut down the government's ability to prosecute Arizona motorists for driving under the influence of marijuana unless the person is impaired at the time of the stop. The ruling focuses on two chemical compounds found in marijuana; Carboxy-THC, which does not cause impairment, or Hydroxy- THC, which does cause impairment. The issue presented was whether the legislature intended to include "its metabolite" in the plural form which would include Carboxy-THC, even though it has proven to be non-impairing.
In a recent court case, Maricopa Judge Katherine Cooper ruled that the use of marijuana extract, a variation of the plant used to make marijuana products such as candies and lollipops, is legal. Judge Cooper's decision overruled a view held by some that the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act only allows the consumption of actual pieces of the marijuana plant.
On Friday, Feburary 28th, 2014, Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and former wife to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was acquitted on DUI Drug charges. The 54-year old was charged with driving while impaired after she swerved and hit a tractor-trailer in her Lexus SUV in morning rush-hour traffic.
This past weekend the Rosenstein Law Group attended the bi-monthly Medical Farmers Market, hosted by CAMP 420. CAMP 420 is the Campaign Against Marijuana Prohibition, a local activist group in Arizona. These activists are proud supporters of the medical marijuana law, Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). CAMP 420 works to educate communities about cannabis, and change Arizona's severe marijuana laws.
The answer is a resounding yes. When someone is charged with a DUI, they are almost always charged with two separate DUI offenses. The State uses this strategy because it increases their conviction rates; i.e., if they don't get a guilty verdict on one charge, they can still try and get you on the other. In a DUI case where the cops think you are under the influence of alcohol, most of the time a person will be charged with being impaired to operate a motor vehicle at least to the slightest degree, and also with having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) above a certain amount, either .08, .15, or .20. In a case where it is alleged that a person is impaired by drugs, a similar thing happens. The suspect will be charged with driving while impaired to the slightest degree, as well as driving with the presence of a drug or its metabolite (waste product) in the blood.
In the case of State v. Harris, the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division 1, made a ruling about driving under the influence of marijuana that will have far reaching effects in Arizona. State v. Harris, No. 1 CA-SA 12-0211, 2013 WL 504558 (Ariz. Ct. App. Div. 1 Feb. 12, 2013). On its face, the decision has the appearance of re-affirming Arizona's zero tolerance policy on driving under the influence of drugs; however, the practical reality of this ruling is significantly more important to both interstate tourism and Arizona citizens' right to travel. The impact will be felt for years to come.
In Arizona it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while impaired to even the slightest degree. Individuals taking prescription or non-prescription drugs that may potentially cause impairment of any type, need to be aware and concerned about the DUI consequences. This is especially true for medical marijuana patients because of the legal scrutiny associated with the prescription amongst law enforcement and in state courts. Even though you may lawfully be using medical marijuana for medicinal purposes, police officers may still arrest you if you are operating a vehicle and they believe that it has affected your ability to drive. There are two main DUI statutes that apply to someone that the police suspect are driving under the influence of marijuana: ARS 28-1381(A)(1) and ARS 28-1381(A)(3).
It wasn't a vacation. Attorneys Craig Rosenstein and A.J. Hall were invited to a seminar in New Orleans called Mastering Scientific Evidence. It was hosted by the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD). It is an intensive multi-day course on scientific principles and forensics surrounding blood, breath, and urine currently used in crime labs. Some of the country's most reputable forensic scientists taught the country's best DUI lawyers the intricacies in representing clients accused of impaired driving. It is in-depth knowledge of how crime labs work, and some of the scientific short comings within those labs to produce erroneous results, that separate the attorneys at the Rosenstein Law Group from other attorneys practicing DUI defense in Arizona. If you are accused of impaired driving, you should immediately contact the attorneys at Rosenstein Law Group to help extricate you from the criminal justice system.
The following scenario is becoming more and more prevalent in Arizona. A person is pulled over for some very minor driving offense (like having a license plate light out or turning into the middle lane and not the curb lane), and a police officer approaches and asks if they've had anything to drink. The person then honestly answers that they've had one beer with dinner. That person trusts police officers, so, even though they do not believe they were driving while impaired, they comply with every request, hoping to be let go, only to be told that they've failed all of the balancing tests and are being arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. The person's car is then towed, and he or she is taken to a police station and held until a phlebotomist arrives and draws his or her blood. The person's blood alcohol level is accurately tested, and it comes in as expected: way below the legal limit, perhaps a 0.00 BAC.