Can I Get a DUI After Taking Illegal Drugs or Medication?

by Aaron Black • December 29, 2011

Let's say you smoked a little pot one week ago. While driving, a police officer pulls you over for making a wide right turn. When the officer speaks with you he notices you are acting a little jittery (we know it is because you are nervous). The officer asks if you have been drinking? You say no. The officer asks if you have had any drugs? You reply, "a week ago I smoked a bowl." The officer will remove you from the car, conduct a DUI investigation and arrest you. Your blood comes back clean, but your urine shows the inactive marijuana ingredients. In Arizona this is a DUI. You are not under the influence, you are not impaired, and you have not done drugs in a week!

There is a DUI defense if you had a valid prescription for the marijuana.

In Arizona you can be charged for DUI Drugs after taking illegal drugs, prescription medications, or over-the-counter medications.

There are almost always two charges for DUI Drugs. The first is impaired to the slightest degree. The second charge is just for having the drug in your system.

As stated above, there is a defense to the second charge if you have a valid prescription for the drugs. However, the prosecution can still move forward on the impairment charges. Impairment does not just refer to being under the influence of alcohol. This defense will require your blood to be analyzed to determine if there was a therapeutic level of the drug in your system (if your blood was drawn). The defense will also analyze what the officer's observations of you were, and what tests the officer conducted on you. 

If you are pulled over and suspected of DUI: ALWAYS ask for a lawyer. NEVER perform the field sobriety tests. NEVER tell the the police you ingested medications or drugs. ALWAYS ask for an independent blood test. For more information on what to do if stopped for DUI read What Do I Do If I Get Pulled Over For A DUI?

If you have been arrested for DUI or DUI Drugs contact Phoenix DUI Lawyer Aaron Black for a free consultation at 480-729-1683.

About the Author

Aaron Black is the founder and sole attorney of the Law Office of Aaron Black. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, his DUI and criminal defense law firm provides legal services to people who have received felony or misdemeanor charges from the state.

Aaron has developed a strong interest in defending people who have been arrested and received criminal charges for driving under the influence. With his professionalism and knowledge of Arizona DUI and criminal law, he has acted as a check and balance on the police, prosecution and courts and has protected a great number of his clients from excessive and unfair sentencing.

Along with DUI defense, Aaron handles a range of other criminal matters, including aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, drug possession, drug trafficking, fraud defense, insurance fraud, sex crimes and white-collar crime.

After graduating college in 2003 from the University of Arizona, Aaron decided to pursue a law degree. He followed a family long tradition and went to the University of South Dakota School of Law where he pursued his goal of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.

After passing the Arizona and South Dakota bar exams, Aaron joined the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender where he defended hundreds of people charged with serious criminal offenses. His work as a public defender helped him sharpen his litigation skills and gave him a unique insight into the Arizona criminal justice system.

Over the course of his 15-year legal career, Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time in both Arizona justice, municipal, state and federal courts. He has argued over 50 jury trials, tried over 100 bench trials and has become one of the highest-rated criminal and DUI defense attorneys in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. He has received a 10/10 rating from the legal directory Avvo because of his legal background and successful case record. Since 2014, he has received the Super Lawyer rating for his work as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.

You can review Aaron’s Attorney Bio page for more information about his background, education and experience as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.
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