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 our final post in this series on DUI penalties in Arizona, we will discuss the minimum penalties for a conviction under A.R.S. Section 28-1381(A)(3)- commonly known as a DUI Drugs Charge.