Our client was pulled over late at night because his third brake lamp was not functioning. The officer that conducted the traffic stop had watched him pull out of a strip mall parking lot that had a bar and marijuana dispensary. The officer was participating in a DUI Taskforce, meaning he was looking to pull over vehicles specifically for the purpose of making DUI arrests on that particular evening. The officer claimed that our client had red and watery eyes, eyelid tremors, and a slight odor of marijuana. He asked our client if he had consumed marijuana, and he responded that he had last smoked marijuana the night before. He allegedly failed multiple field sobriety tests according to the officer conducting the tests. The body camera footage showed that he actually performed relatively well on some of the field sobriety tests, however, the officer still arrested him for DUI.
Our client submitted to a blood test and it came back positive for THC with a concentration of 31 ng/ml. He did not have a medical marijuana card and marijuana had not yet been legalized in Arizona. He could have been convicted of a DUI if any amount of THC was found in his system, regardless of whether he was impaired. We fought the case tirelessly, filing motions and arguing that the officer failed to file the necessary paperwork. We set the case for trial when the prosecutor would not back down from a DUI plea offer. We prepared a strong defense, even with the zero-tolerance law in place. Less than 24 hours before our trial was scheduled to start, the prosecutor folded and offered our client what we had previously demanded—a plea offer to reckless driving with only a fine and no jail time. We were able to keep the DUI off of our client’s record. Additionally, we were able to prevent the client’s driver’s license from being suspended at any point during the process.