What happens if you get charged with a Marijuana DUI in Arizona? It’s a question that deserves detailed explanation.
Because marijuana can stay in your system for so long, it’s scary to think that you could be charged with a Marijuana DUI.
Here’s what you need to know about getting a Marijuana DUI in Arizona.
What happens after you get a marijuana DUI in Arizona?
Legalizing medical marijuana has changed the attitude of law enforcement authorities towards marijuana consumption. In 2017, about 27,653 DUI arrests1 were made in the state.The number of yearly arrests of marijuana DUIs in Arizona has considerably decreased after passing the Smart and Safe Arizona Act in 2020. This year, there have been only 75 extreme DUI arrests2 in Arizona, compared to 103 in 2021. Though driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal in Arizona, legal developments like the 2020 Arizona Proposition 207 have greatly changed how laws are enforced. Being charged with a marijuana DUI in Arizona does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. For a DUI to result in a conviction, the state prosecutor must prove you guilty of committing all elements of the offense. If you are pulled over for DUI, and your drug tests come back positive, you will either be charged with ARS 1381(A)(1) 3or ARS 1381(A)(3)4, depending on the percentage of marijuana in your system. Under ARS 1381(A)(1), driving under the influence of any substance is illegal if the substance makes the driver impaired to the slightest degree. The key phrase here is “to the slightest degree,” which means you can be prosecuted even for the smallest level of impairment, as long as the prosecutor can prove that the presence of marijuana in your system caused the impairment. This law applies to everyone regardless of whether or not they have a prescription for marijuana. Under ARS 1381(A)(3), driving with any substance or its metabolite present in your system is illegal. This law does not require the prosecutor to show impairment. You can be prosecuted under this statute if you have a drug’s metabolite in your system, even if you were driving perfectly fine. 2020 Arizona Proposition 2075 has added new language to this law which precludes the prosecution if the prosecutor cannot show impairment “to the slightest degree.”
What are the penalties for a marijuana DUI in Arizona?People convicted of DUIs in Arizona can incur extremely harsh penalties. Though newer DUI laws in the state, like the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, have made it difficult for the prosecution to convict people, they do not lessen the severity of the punishment if a person is convicted. If you are convicted of a marijuana DUI in Arizona, you may need to serve jail time, engage in community service, or pay a fine of thousands of dollars. In extreme cases, your driver’s license may also be suspended, restricted, or annulled. The court may also order installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. After a DUI conviction in Arizona, you will also be required to obtain an SR-22 document or maintain high-risk auto insurance. Conviction under “Drug DUI” law or “Impaired to the Slight Degree” law is a class 1 misdemeanor. If you are charged with a marijuana DUI in Arizona for the first time, you can incur the following penalties:
- You can get a minimum of 10 days and six months in jail. If you complete a drug assessment and other recommended classes, you may be eligible for six days of jail time and 24 days of home detention. During home detention, you can go to work and engage in other chores, but you must always wear an ankle monitor. Home detention is not allowed by all courts in Arizona. If the court does not allow home detention, you’ll have to spend 30 days in jail with permission to participate in a work release program after two days. If you get this type of release, you can leave the jail to work for 12 hours daily.
- Fines and court costs can amount to up to $5,000.
- A 90-day suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. If your license gets suspended, you won’t be able to travel for the first 30 days, with restricted driving for the last two months.
- The court may order you to install an ignition interlock device in your call. Though this is not mandatory in a marijuana DUI, the judge can use their discretion to include it as a term in your punishment.
- Eight MVD points are assessed against your permanent driving record when you are charged with a DUI in Arizona. Due to this, you may lose some of your driving privileges for a specified time if you have prior MVD points on your record. You’ll only be required to attend traffic survival school to regain driving privileges.
- A conviction for DUI in Arizona that’s accompanied by other negative factors, such as a suspended license, can result in aggravated charges. You’ll incur harsher penalties if you are convicted under such circumstances.
- A DUI conviction in Arizona can cost you a lot of money, ranging from about $10,000 upwards. You’ll be required to maintain SR-22 for the next three years, costing you around $3,000. The financial penalties are greater for those convicted of a DUI than once in the past seven years.