Fighting DUI under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act


Arizona Medical Marijuana Act & DUI Charges


Driving under the influence is a criminal offense that violates driving laws. Driving while impaired or being controlled by alcohol-related substances is against DUI laws or what is more commonly known as drunk driving laws. Drunk-driving may also lead to reckless driving, over-speeding and may result in unwanted vehicular accidents affecting innocent drivers and motorists. An offender of the DUI law could face DUI charges, fines, and penalties, or even a revocation of driver’s license, probation, or suspension.

In some areas, a checkpoint for a sobriety test is conducted to estimate the alcohol level of a driver. A breathalyzer test is commonly being used for DUI checkpoints. This test allows officials to know the blood alcohol concentration from a breath sample of a drunk driver. The DUI law, however, is not limited to alcohol.

What Arizona statutes classify as unlawful is driving under the influence of intoxication from liquor or drugs. Furthermore, drug possession can lead to a DUI violation or even DWI charges. Arizona DWI laws are being violated by mere possession of marijuana.

There are several things you need to know about DUI law, especially vis-a-vis the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). Under the AMMA, Arizona legalized the use of medical marijuana. If a patient was diagnosed with a very serious condition, it is favorable for them to be treated using marijuana. Emphasis is given on it being used as a controlled-substance and patients should not exceed the maximum dosage of the medication.

Defense for those charged with DUI under AMMA

dui defenseIn some circumstances, prescriptions for medical marijuana can be a valid defense for those charged with DUI. Charging offenders with felony DUI without sufficient evidence will not make them plead guilty. A DUI defense lawyer can actually make a valid statement defending violators who possess medical marijuana.

Here is an example. According to the police report, your driving record led to some suspicion that you are driving drunk. The alcohol content in your system was estimated using the breath-test and you passed. During the investigation, you were found guilty of possession of a drug substance, specifically marijuana, which you medically use. You then seek legal counsel. The best defense of a DUI defense attorney would be proof that the concentration of marijuana is insufficient to cause the patient to be impaired or intoxicated.

Having valid prescriptions for medical marijuana does not mean that violators are exempted from being prosecuted or sentenced to criminal charges. In some cases, however, it is a possible defense in this type of criminal case.  A commercial driver pulled over for a suspected DUI case could be found to have a certain amount of marijuana in his or her system, but has a valid medical marijuana certificate. That violator can be defended by proving that the concentration of drug substance in his or her system is not sufficient to cause impairment, thereby making the defendant not guilty. 

Lawyers associations and law-firms acknowledge that DUI laws and the AMMA are complicated facets of the legal system. Prosecutors must possess valid evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the presence of marijuana has impaired the driver’s faculties to the point that it may lead to drinking and driving violations. In contrast, the defendant must prove that the concentration of marijuana in his or her system is not significant to increase the level of intoxication. Cases such as these are quite new and a good DUI defense lawyer makes a big difference.

Do you need legal representation in Arizona?

When faced with DUI under AMMA, do not hesitate to reach out to a reliable DUI defense attorney who will fight for you and defend your legal rights. If you need a DUI attorney or if you have questions regarding criminal cases or DUI arrest, contact The Law Office of Howard A. Snader, LLC Call us at 602-737-3195 for a free consultation.

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