Can I get a DUI in Arizona if I smoked Marijuana and have a prescription?

by Aaron Black • January 21, 2012
In Arizona, a Drug (Marijuana) DUI has 2 charges. You will be charged for:
  • Driving under the influence of a drug. ARS 28-1381A1, and
  • Driving while there is any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in your system. ARS 28-1381A3.
If you have a prescription for the drug, whether it is Marijuana or Xanax, it is an absolute defense to the A3 charge. However, you can still be tried and convicted on being impaired to the slightest degree, A1 charge. This is why you never do the field sobriety tests and always ask for a lawyer. Read my post, What to do if I get pulled over for a DUI.

Because you can get a DUI with just the metabolite, that means you do not have to be high. You could have smoked the marijuana 2 weeks ago and still get a DUI. Always invoke your 5th amendment right to remain silent, and never tell the officer you smoked marijuana - even if it was weeks prior.

Medical Marijuana

On November 2, 2010, Arizona passed the Medical Marijuana Act otherwise known as Proposition 203. Prop 203 allows those with terminal and serious injuries that include conditions such as cachexia or wasting, and chronic pain to legally use medical marijuana, protecting them from arrest and prosecution with a Medical Marijuana Program ID. The proposition, however, does come with restrictions.

Examples of Medical Marijuana use allowable by Law

  • A qualifying patient can possess up to 2.5 ounces (as recommended by their physician.)
  • In some instances, a patient may be able to cultivate marijuana. A qualifying patient, however, must be authorized to grow marijuana, and their identification card must verify that they are eligible.

Examples of Medical Marijuana Restrictions

  • Being in control of a motorized vehicle while under the influence of medical marijuana including a car, aircraft or motorboat.
  • Possession or use of marijuana in a child care facility is prohibited
  • Possession or under the influence of medical marijuana on federal groundsThere are defenses to the A1 charge
  • Officer did the field sobriety tests wrong
  • Blood not collected
  • Physical disability
  • Therapeutic amount of the drug
If you have been arrested for DUI and Marijuana of a drug was found in your system contact Phoenix DUI Lawyer Aaron Black for a free consultation. 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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