DUI of Drugs in Arizona
Tucson DUI Lawyers for Drugged Driving Charges
DUI charges aren’t limited to claims that motorists are driving while impaired by alcohol. Motorists can also be arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs, and the state’s ability to charge you. Not only can you be charged with driving while impaired on drugs or medication, the simple act of driving with a controlled substance in your system is a separate DUI charge.
Arizona Revised Statute § 28-1381(a)(1) makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle if you are impaired by any drug in your system – prescription, illegal, or otherwise. Arizona Revised Statute § 28-1381(a)(3) makes it a crime to drive with a controlled substance in your system and puts the burden on you to show that the drug was being used as prescribed. DUIs based on marijuana use are a hotly debated topic, and the evidence allowed varies from courtroom to courtroom, as it is illegal for a licensed doctor to prescribe marijuana under federal law – instead, people who qualify are able to receive a medical marijuana card based on a “recommendation” from a qualifying medical professional.
Nesci & St. Louis is the premier DUI law firm in Arizona. Our attorneys commit our more than 80 years of combined experience in protecting the rights of individuals charged with DUIs throughout Tucson and Southern Arizona. We defend our clients’ cases strategically when defending DUIs involving illicit drugs or legal medications.
What Can Lead to a DUI of Drugs Charge?
You are probably already familiar with the basics of Arizona’s laws
regarding DUIs based on the consumption of alcohol. You are considered
to be impaired if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher.
You can still be charged with a DUI with a lower BAC, however. You might
also be charged with DUI based on
of drugs that can be detected in a blood or urine testing.
Common drugs that lead to DUI include:
- Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications — Such as cold medicines, cough medicines, allergy medications, and OTC sleep aids.
- Prescription Pharmaceuticals — Including prescription pain medications (analgesics), antidepressants, antihistamines, anxiolytics, attention disorder/ADD medications, cough suppressants, muscle relaxants, and sedatives.
- Illegal Drugs — Including marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, LSD, MDMA, peyote, and PCP.
If you are found in possession of an illegal drug or a prescription medication that was not lawfully prescribed to you, then you could face a companion charge of drug possession, in addition to a DUI charge.
Penalties for Driving under the Influence of Prescription Drugs
Driving while impaired by prescription medications carries stiff penalties in Arizona, even for first-time offenders. A conviction for DUI involving a prescription drug might result in:
- Mandatory overnight incarceration
- Heavy fines
- Driver’s license suspension
- Installation of an ignition interlock device at your expense
- Mandatory completion of a state- or MVD-approved program
- Community service hours
As with an alcohol-related DUI conviction, being convicted of a DUI involving drugs typically triggers increased insurance premiums. Under the zero tolerance laws of Arizona, drivers who are underage may endure longer driver license suspensions for DUI with trace amounts of a drug in your system.
Consult with our DUI defense lawyer in Tucson, AZ about your prescription drug arrest. Call Nesci & St. Louis today at (520) 999-2441 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.