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.