In Arizona, you may be charged with a DUI based on the presence of a prescription drug in your system. Even if you have an active prescription for that drug. But, much like medical marijuana, having a prescription is an affirmative defense to some DUI drug charges.
Impairment to the Slightest Degree
Impairment to the Slightest Degree makes it illegal to drive, while impaired to the slightest degree by any drug. Even one where you have a prescription. A prescription is not a valid defense to this charge. But, you can argue that you were not impaired through personal or expert testimony.
Driving with an Illegal Drug the Body
Driving with an Illegal Drug in the Body makes it illegal to drive with any illegal drug, or non-prescribed prescription drug. Illegal drugs include drugs like cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine, as well as prescription medication that wasn’t legally prescribed to the driver. So, the only defense to this strict liability charge is if you had a valid prescription.
Penalties for Prescription Drug DUI
The mandatory minimum penalties for a first time conviction under these offenses are:
- Jail: 10 days, with all but 1 suspended with proof of completion of an alcohol/drug assessment and recommended classes.
- Fine: Around $2000
- Driver’s Licenses Suspension: 90 day license suspension, with possibility of a restricted license after first 30 days.
- Interlock Device: As of January 1, 2017, there’s no interlock requirement for a non-alcohol DUI. But, the judge may add it.
- MVD Points: 8 points
- Insurance: Obtain SR-22 Insurance Policy