Every case is different; but you can be confident that you will receive a highly skilled defense from an award-winning Glendale Prescription drug DUI lawyer, backed by a thorough knowledge of the law and a deeply held commitment to obtaining the best possible outcome for you – one that will be the least disruptive to your life, your reputation, and finances.
Perhaps you have a health condition that requires you to take certain types of prescription medication. However, if you get behind the wheel when your medication has made you drowsy or slowed your reaction time, you are vulnerable to a DUI in Arizona, the same as if you had been drinking alcohol.
This may create a problem for people who are on medication which they need to allow them to continue working, but you need to be very careful. A DUI on your record can create havoc in your life, cause you to spend time in jail, lose your driving privileges, and result in steep fines along with various other penalties. The fact that you are taking the medication pursuant to your doctor’s orders cannot be used as a defense to drug DUI.
Below are some common prescription and OTC drugs that can impair drivers:
Unlike alcohol, drugs cannot be detected with a Breathalyzer. You may blow a 0.0 and still end up with a DUI if the officer who pulled you oversaw you driving erratically and observed other signs of possible impairment, such as dilated pupils, slurred speech, staggering gait, lack of coordination, and similar unusual presenting symptoms. You might be asked to perform a field sobriety test, which you may refuse, and will probably be taken to the station for a blood or urine test. This test you may not refuse (unless you are willing to have your license suspended on the spot for a year) because of Arizona’s implied consent law. Possession and use of a driver’s license imply that you have agreed to submit to being tested in this manner provided the officer has probable cause for stopping you and administering the test.
Complicating the matter is the fact that, unlike alcohol which is metabolized fairly quickly, some drugs will show up in some blood test weeks after use. Marijuana, for example, can remain in your system for four or five weeks, so you could be charged with a prescription drug DUI if you used medical marijuana, which is legal in Arizona, more than a month previously. Penalties for a drug DUI are similar to those for a DUI involving alcohol.
A first offense drug DUI is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, punishable by a minimum sentence of 10 days and a maximum of 6 months in jail, court-ordered participation in a drug screening and treatment program at your expense, a fine of as much as $2,500 and up to 5 years of probation. The minimum penalties for a DUI drug conviction include 10 days of jail (of which 9 can be suspended upon completion of drug screening and treatment, a fine up to $2,500 plus surcharges, and probation up to 5 years. If you have a prior DUI conviction within the past seven years, the minimum penalty is 30 days in jail, drug screening and treatment, and up to 5 years of probation. You may also be required to perform community service.
In the first offense of a drunk driving DUI, your license suspension is typically 90 days, with a restricted permit after 30 days depending on if you hired a Glendale DUI attorney. A drug DUI can get you a one-year suspension with no restricted license during that time.
Because the penalties can limit your ability to get to work, do your shopping, drive your kids to school, and perform so many other basic life activities, you should fight the charge with the help of a highly experienced Arizona DUI attorney. There are defenses and strategies available that can prevent you from having a criminal record and allow you to go on with your life without spending time in jail or losing your mobility.
In the Phoenix, Arizona, area, you will find the top quality experienced representation you need by contacting the law offices of attorney Craig Orent. Craig has decades of experience and a record of success in handling DUI cases of all types, including drug DUIs. He will advise you as to your legal options and strategize the best defense for the unique circumstances of your case. He may be able to prevent charges from being filed, have them reduced, spare you jail time, and work out a way you can keep your driving privileges.
Call Orent Law immediately if you have been arrested. The sooner you obtain legal representation, the more favorable the outcome is likely to be.