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Criminal Law Blog

How to Avoid a Marijuana DUI

August 13, 2021

Marijuana use is now legal in Arizona, but that doesn’t mean that it is legal to drive under the influence of it. A marijuana DUI can lead to the loss of your license, a fine, and jail time, and the penalties increase if you are convicted of more than one marijuana DUI offense. Arizona is a zero-tolerance state, which means that there is no legal amount of marijuana you can have in your system while behind the wheel. Don’t let a marijuana DUI conviction derail your life. Here is what you can do to avoid a marijuana DUI. 

Learn About Metabolites

Marijuana metabolites are chemicals created by your body as it metabolizes THC. These metabolites can be detected in breath, blood, and urine tests, and they can remain in your body for weeks after using marijuana. That means that you can be weeks past your last time using marijuana and still be charged with a marijuana DUI because of the metabolites in your system. 

Law officers are not supposed to investigate you for a DUI if they do not have a reason to suspect that you are impaired. However, it is possible to get stopped for another traffic offense and end up facing metabolite testing. Keep this possibility in mind as you assess the risk of driving after using marijuana. 

Avoid Driving Impaired

Although metabolites increase the chances of being charged with a marijuana DUI long after you have used the drug, you should never risk driving while actively impaired. Doing so endangers you and others on the road, and it increases the likelihood of being stopped by officers for a DUI. Always wait until the effects of the marijuana have subsided before you consider driving. 

Refuse Field Sobriety Tests

In Arizona, it is legal to refuse a field sobriety test, and it is in your interest to do so, as these tests are notoriously subjective and unreliable. If you refuse, you may be asked to take a blood, breath, or urine test, which are much more reliable. You can still refuse those tests but doing so will result in your license immediately being suspended. 

When your license and freedom are on the line, you need a criminal defense attorney to fight for the best outcome for your case. If you’re facing a marijuana DUI in Tucson, call Janet Altschuler for a case consultation. Schedule an appointment by calling (520) 200-5003.

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