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When people think of DUI, their minds naturally go straight to driving after having consumed alcohol. But, DUI is actually more broad than that. DUI also applies to anyone who is driving while under the influence of marijuana. Arizona is one of only 23 states in our union that has legalized the use of medical marijuana. Unfortunately, much like alcohol, marijuana can actually impair your ability to drive properly, making you potentially dangerous on the road when under the influence. Because of this, it is actually illegal to drive while any amount of marijuana is in your system. However, some people have raised the idea that having a medical marijuana card should be a defense against being charged with a DUI when driving with marijuana in your system.
It was recently announced by the Arizona Supreme Court that they would review a decision made in appeals court that stated that drivers found under the influence of marijuana can be prosecuted. This prosecution can occur even if the driver possesses a medical marijuana card. However, this prosecution can occur even if you are impaired only to the slightest degree. In fact, only alcohol comes with degrees of intoxication you are allowed to drive under. If you are caught with any amount of a legal or illegal drug that can impair your ability to drive in your blood, you can receive a DUI.
Unfortunately, whether or not you have a legal prescription for a drug in your system, your ability to drive is still in question. While you are allowed to drive with a drug in your system if you have a valid prescription, you can still get a DUI if it is found that that drug is impairing your ability to drive. Defenders of this have been quick to point out that marijuana is not prescribed by a doctor like other drugs. Instead, marijuana is only recommended, unlike other pain medications that require a real, valid prescription to receive.
What makes marijuana questionable is the fact that THC is an active ingredient within it. THC can have many interesting effects on your body. For instance, it is known to make users dizzy while also increasing their appetite. What makes THC dangerous for drivers is the fact that it can slow your reaction time, increasing your risk for getting into a car accident. The thing about THC, though, is that it remains in your system for weeks, even if you haven’t smoked recently. And, if you are pulled over and it is still in your system, you can still receive a DUI.
Whether you receive your DUI due to drinking alcohol or because of marijuana, we here at The Weingart Firm have the experience and know how to help you. Mark Weingart has been practicing law in the Tempe, Scottsdale, and Pheonix, AZ areas for many years now, and has used that time to learn all there is to know about defending against DUI charges. If you need help defending yourself from a DUI in relation to marijuana, we encourage you to contact us today and schedule a no-obligation consultation.