I HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH DRUNK DRIVING WITH AN ILLEGAL DRUG OR METABOLITE. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
If the government can prove you drove a car with an illegal drug or the metabolite of an illegal drug in your system, that is a violation of A.R.S. 28-1381(A)(3). Importantly, just like the allegation that you were driving with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit, the government does not need to prove that the drugs or metabolites in your system actually affected your ability to drive; to convict you, the government just needs to prove that you had the illegal drug or metabolite in your system. Some studies show that THC-carboxy, which is a marijuana metabolite, can stay up to 30 days in the human system. Thus, the government could potentially convict someone of DUI for having smoked marijuana a month ago.
BUT I WAS NOT IMPAIRED AT ALL. DOES THAT MATTER?
They way the law is written, if you have an illegal metabolite in your system, then it does not matter if that metabolite impaired your ability to drive. The law presumes that you are guilty of a DUI simply having driven a car with a metabolite in your system.
BUT IT'S NOT AS BAD AS A ALCOHOL DUI, RIGHT? I WON'T NEED AN INTERLOCK DEVICE, OR WILL I?
Actually, it much worse than an alcohol DUI conviction because with a first time misdemeanor DUI, you will only get a license suspension. But with a first time illegal drug or metabolite conviction, MVD will revoke your license for one year. That means no driving at all, even for work or school, for one year. On top of that, with an drug DUI conviction, you will still need to get an interlock device installed, even if you have never had a drop of alcohol in your life.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A DRUG DUI IN ARIZONA?
Contact Vladimir Gagic at his Phoenix office today.