- How Does Marijuana Impact Driving Ability?
- Arizona DUI Laws and Marijuana
- The Legal Distinctions Between THC and CBD
- How Do Police Identify and Test Drivers For Marijuana Impairment?
- Is a Marijuana DUI a Felony in Arizona?
- Can You Get a DUI for Medical Marijuana?
- Is it Legal to Have Marijuana in Your Car?
In Arizona, marijuana is legal for recreational use, but it’s still important to remember that driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal.
Although there are no exact limits as to how much marijuana one can consume before being considered legally impaired, drivers can still be charged with a DUI if their driving behavior or physical symptoms suggest that they are impaired.
While it may not seem like a big deal to get behind the wheel after using marijuana, the consequences can include significant fines and jail time.
It is essential to remember that although marijuana may now be legal in Arizona, whether the product contains THC or CBD is an important distinction to make.
How Does Marijuana Impact Driving Ability?
Driving under the influence of marijuana can significantly impact driving ability.
Marijuana impairs reaction time, coordination, and judgment, all essential for safe driving.
Studies have shown that drivers under the influence of marijuana may be unable to accurately judge distances and speeds or respond quickly in emergencies.
Additionally, marijuana use can cause drowsiness and impair concentration, leading to an increased risk of accidents.
For these reasons, it is essential to avoid operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.
Arizona DUI Laws and Marijuana
Arizona DUI laws are some of the strictest in the nation.
If caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you can face severe penalties, including jail time, fines, license suspension, and community service.
In other words, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana, regardless of whether it was prescribed.
Furthermore, if found guilty of a DUI involving marijuana, you can expect to face similar penalties as those associated with an alcohol-related DUI.
Therefore, it is crucial to understand Arizona’s DUI laws and know that marijuana use while driving is illegal and could lead to severe consequences.
The Legal Distinctions Between THC and CBD
CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are compounds found in cannabis.
However, their effects on the human body and their legal status, especially when it comes to driving under the influence, are notably different.
Here are the key differences between driving with CBD vs. THC in your system:
- THC: THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives the “high” or intoxicated feeling. This can impact skills necessary for safe driving, such as coordination, reaction times, and decision-making abilities.
- CBD: Conversely, CBD is non-psychoactive and does not impair your driving ability. It is often used for its potential therapeutic benefits without causing a high.
- THC: Driving under the influence of THC is illegal in all states, including those where recreational marijuana use is legal. You could be charged with a DUI if you are pulled over, and a blood test shows a THC concentration above the legal limit (which varies by state).
- CBD: CBD is legal at the federal level thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. Therefore, driving after using CBD shouldn’t result in a DUI, assuming the CBD product is compliant, and you are not impaired.
- THC: THC can remain in your system for days or weeks, which is what most drug tests look for. You could face DUI charges if you’re tested after driving and THC is detected.
- CBD: Standard drug tests typically do not detect CBD. However, be aware that many CBD products contain trace amounts of THC, which might be detected on a drug test and could potentially lead to a DUI charge if the level is above the legal limit.
Implications for DUI Defense
- THC: Defense strategies for a THC-related DUI often involve questioning the blood test’s accuracy, the traffic stop’s legality, or whether the THC concentration actually impaired your ability to drive.
- CBD: If you’ve been charged with a DUI and only used CBD, you would want to bring evidence of the CBD product you used, showing that it complies with federal regulations and contains less than 0.3% THC.
Remember, while the consumption of marijuana may be legal, it’s always essential to use products that are compliant with local and federal laws.
And regardless of the substance, it is your responsibility to avoid driving if you feel impaired in any way.
If you face DUI charges related to the use of either THC or CBD, it’s crucial to seek legal advice to understand your options and possible defenses.
How Do Police Identify and Test Drivers For Marijuana Impairment?
In Arizona, police officers use various methods to identify and test drivers for marijuana impairment.
First, they will look for physical signs of impairment such as red eyes, dilated pupils, an odor of marijuana, or other indicators.
If the officer suspects a driver is impaired, they may request the driver submit to a field sobriety test or blood test.
Blood tests measure THC levels in the blood.
It is essential to be aware that the level of THC in your blood does not determine impairment because there is no legal limit for THC in the law in Arizona, unlike the .08 legal limit for alcohol DUI.
Moreover, unlike alcohol DUIs, the science has not evolved to determine at what nanograms of THC people are impaired.
For alcohol, the relevant scientific community states that everyone is impaired at a .08 regardless of tolerance.
Thus, there is an excellent opportunity to argue that the client is not impaired even when there are high nanograms of THC in their system because they may have a high tolerance to THC from frequent or extended marijuana use.
Furthermore, police departments in some cities have trained Drug Recognition Experts who are specially trained to recognize impairment from drugs other than alcohol. However, these tests are often performed by a self-proclaimed expert that may not have a college degree and only received a day and a half of classes.
Is a Marijuana DUI a Felony in Arizona?
In Arizona, a marijuana DUI is not a felony in and of itself.
However, if the driver has three or more prior DUI convictions within seven years, has a suspended or restricted license, or has a child under 15 in the car, among other factors, they can be charged with a felony DUI.
Depending on the severity of the case, consequences can range from jail time to prison time.
Additionally, suppose the driver has caused any property damage or injury due to driving under the influence of marijuana. In that case, they may face additional criminal charges and potentially be subjected to more severe penalties than those associated with a simple marijuana DUI.
It is essential for anyone facing these types of charges to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to get the best outcome possible.
Can You Get a DUI for Medical Marijuana?
In Arizona, it is illegal to drive under the influence of any controlled substance, including marijuana.
Even if you use medical marijuana legally, you can still get a DUI for impaired driving.
In Arizona, you can be charged with a DUI if impaired to the slightest degree.
If convicted, you may face jail time, fines, license suspension, and other penalties. It is important to always drive responsibly and never get behind the wheel after using marijuana in any form for any purpose, whether for recreational or medical use.
Is it Legal to Have Marijuana in Your Car?
Driving under the influence isn’t legal in any state. It is illegal and dangerous and can have severe consequences if caught.
You may be charged with DUI if you are found to have marijuana in your system, even if it was consumed off the road.
However, it is not illegal to possess marijuana in your car as long as it is under the legal weight limit of 2.5 ounces of marijuana and you are at least 21 years old.
A Marijuana DUI is a Serious Charge. However, Our Team of Defense Attorneys has Won Cases Like Yours.
If you have been charged with a Marijuana DUI, whether it contained THC or CBD, there is hope.
Our team of experienced defense attorneys has extensive experience in cases like yours and has won many victories for our clients.
Our Marijuana DUI lawyers know the law and the legal system inside out, and we will work hard to build the most robust case on your behalf.
We understand these charges can be overwhelming and intimidating, but we will fight aggressively to protect your rights and ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
Attorney Darin Colburn has experienced first-hand just how difficult going through a family law matter such as divorce is when his parents divorced when he was 6 years old. Twenty years later, he has devoted his entire legal career to helping those facing similar issues. Darin attended the University of Arizona and graduated Cum Laude from the Eller College of Management. Darin is an experienced trial attorney that excels in high-net-worth divorce, complex business valuations, and messy child custody disputes.
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“Nothing but good things to say about my experience.”
I have nothing but good things to say about my experience working with David Maletta. I was in a very high-stress situation facing a pending DUI charge. He doesn’t know this, but I actually interviewed 5 potential lawyers, and he was the most optimistic of all of them. He took over and handled everything, and now I don’t have to live with a DUI. Thank you so much for everything! Highly recommend them to anyone looking for legal help.
Lauren Koontz - Google Review
“I would give them more stars, but the option is not there”
Best divorce lawyers in Arizona, hands down. Timothy Hintz handled my divorce, and as a father, I have my son and our house. I would give them more stars, but the option is not there. His paralegal Jennifer Bone is extremely competent, and the whole team is very friendly. Took a big weight off, having them behind me.
Joseph A. - Google Review
“Very professional, very empathetic, and very responsive to all the issues.”
I had the opportunity to work with Darin during a very troublesome time in my life. As a family attorney, I found him to be very professional, very empathetic, and very responsive to all the issues I faced. I would recommend him to anyone without a second thought. Thank you, Darin!
Gary C. - Google Review
“Because of Darin I got my daughter back”
Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!
Chris - AVVO Review
“He fights for his clients like no one I have ever seen”
David Maletta is the absolute best trial attorney in the state of Arizona. He is a kind, emphatic, and extremely patient person. As an attorney, he is prepared, aggressive, and extremely skilled. He is not afraid to go to trial and fight for his clients, like other attorneys that just plead their clients to the original charges. When he is in trial, he flips a switch and goes from a nice guy to a killing machine. He fights for his clients like no one I have ever seen. Watching him do a cross-examination is exhilarating because he is so good it’s scary.
Patricia Bevins - Google Review
“Listens to every request that you make on a case”
I honestly just want to let it be known to any and everyone looking for an attorney on a case. Whether it be DUI, possession, or your every day to day traffic violations where you need representation attorney Tim Hintze is your man. You have to respect a man that listens to every request that you make on a case and he gets in there and gets it done. Tim has my respect as an attorney and being a well-rounded representer. From him being honest on the possibility and options for your case to him being easy to work and communicate with via over the phone or face to face Mr. Hintze is working it out.
Ben - AVVO Review
“Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently”
I had an incident and was given the catch-all charge. There wasn’t really anything I could do by myself to get out of it. Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome from my case. Which he successfully achieved! As of right now, I am on the path to having my case fully dismissed. A couple of things that really helped me through this process was that Tim did an amazing job at answering my questions. He was available almost anytime and would respond promptly when he got my emails. He was also very approachable and comforting to be around while we had in person meetings and especially when I was at the court house. I would trust him and the company he works for with any other cases in the future, and as of right now, they will be my first choice if I need a lawyer in the future.
Dylan - AVVO Review
“There is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David”
I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.
Jacob - AVVO Review
“Responsive, sympathetic, professional, patient, and kind.”
On one of the worst and most surreal nights of my life (do not EVER get a DUI people!) I was lucky enough to find my way to Tim Hintze. Being in Phoenix for the Thanksgiving holiday from out of town, and after spending the evening with family, I ended up spending the night in jail.
Tim turned one of the worst experiences in my life into “it could have been so much worse!” Working with him from a different state, he covered the bases & paperwork, showed up for me in court, gave me numerous connections to muck my way through the system, and held my hand the whole way.
I cannot imagine how much worse this experience could have been, and thanks to Tim, I didn’t need to. He was responsive, sympathetic, professional, patient, and kind throughout the long process, drawn out by many months due to Covid.
Keep Tim’s number handy and in your contacts in the event you are ever in the sorry position to need a DUI lawyer!
Holly Weber - Google Review
“The calm in the middle of my storm…”
I recently consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again. However, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.
Frank - AVVO Review
“I still have a clean record to this day.”
One piece of advice for people who are charged with anything in Arizona is to hire a great lawyer because the state does not care if you’re innocent or not. The Arizona legal system will try to ruin your life. A couple of years ago I was the victim of an antisemitic hate crime when a guy named Billy, who had a history of drug and alcohol issues and was thrown out of the Navy for being violent, decided to attack me after drinking all day in Old Town (Sunday funday) over a pointless argument over whether it’s better to buy homes immediately post-recession or during the 10th year of a bull market run which was his argument. The disagreement led to Billy making several anti-semitic comments and assaulting me, which led to me beating up billy. Billy and his friends then went to the police and lied to try to get me thrown in jail for months for assault while getting 10s of thousands of dollars in restitution in the process. I hired David Maletta. We went to court and destroyed Billy and his best friend/roommate Taylor who were trying to extort me and ruin my life. In Arizona there is a 3.5% chance you’ll get all charges dropped because of how hard the state is on crime but we pulled it off and I still have a clean record to this day.
MJ Walsh - Google Review
“David was relentless in his pursuit of my son’s innocence”
We retained David Maletta to represent our son after being cited for what can only be described as a momentary lapse of reason. David was extremely knowledgeable, was able to clearly communicate very complicated concepts, and was relentless in his pursuit of my son’s innocence. He had strong relationships with the prosecuting attorney and respect of the judge, which ultimately resulted in my son learning a really hard lesson with limited consequences (traffic school and writing an essay to the judge on the physics of driving 130MPH and what happens if that goes badly). I have already sent all of my friends with teenage and 20 year old kids his contact information for when they inevitably get that call. David completely exceeded all of our expectations and we could not recommend him any stronger. Thank you for everything.