Driving Under the Influence of Illegal/Prescription Drugs
Typically, when we think of driving under the influence, we think of alcohol consumption. You might be surprised to learn DUIs can also be issued for driving under the influence of illegal and prescription drugs. Any individual believed to be operating or maintaining control of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs can be charged with a DUI.
Even if you take medication prescribed to you in the correct doses, certain pharmaceutical drugs have been shown to impair driving, and can be cause for a DUI charge. Do not let prosecutors take advantage of your DUI charge; instead, consult a quality DUI attorney who can help get you the results you deserve. The team at the Stewart Law Group will work with you to defend your rights and fight the charges against you.
Driving under the influence of illegal drugs can also warrant a DUI. Arizona has one of the strictest laws on drugged driving, and there is a zero-tolerance policy that makes it illegal to drive if any drugs are detectable in your system. Drugs known to impair driving safety and are thus illegal when driving are:
- Morphine and Heroin
Pharmaceutical drugs and even over the counter medications are often dangerous when taken before driving. While a DUI case could be made for other types of medications, some of the common prescription and over the counter drugs that can impair drivers and lead to DUI are:
- Sleeping pills
These prescription drugs, over the counter medications, and illegal drugs can have an effect on motor skills, alertness, concentration, and judgment. Because operating a motor vehicle safely requires unimpaired attention, Arizona law designates these substances as illegal for drivers. There has been recent confusion about the role medicinal marijuana plays in drug-related DUIs, but even when used as a prescription, the Arizona DUI drug laws consider marijuana unsafe for consumption before and during driving. A medical marijuana card is not a suitable defense for a charge of driving under the influence of drugs.
The rate of arrests for drug-related DUIs has increased steadily over the last few years, according to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. In 2008, only 694 charges of DUIs related to drugs were issued. In 2012, this swelled significantly to 4,504 charges for driving under the influence of drugs. Data is still being collected for last year, but in just the first half of 2013, 2,048 charges for driving under the influence of drugs were issued in Arizona. This marked increase shows how Arizona authorities have responded to changes in the legal system. Furthermore, how technology has made it possible to test for drugs in the driver’s system, and use the information to convict them of a DUI.
Even though testing procedures have improved, mistakes are often made by undertrained officers. Scott Stewart at the Stewart Law Group are well-versed in Arizona law related to drug use and driving, and will help you get the best possible outcome. With over 15 years of combined experience, Scott David Stewart and his team will work with you to acquire the lowest sentencing available. Fill out a FREE case evaluation to see what your legal options are and how we can help deliver the results you want.