The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that medical marijuana users are not protected from DUI charges if there is any trace of marijuana or its compound in the body while driving.
Marijuana metabolites can stay in the body for weeks, but may not be significant enough to cause impairment. While these compounds may be inactive, this law still prohibits driving with any trace of marijuana in the body.
Approximately 50,000 people in Arizona use medical marijuana since the inception of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in 2010.
Some have argued that the act is supposed to protect medical users from DUI charges so long as they are not driving while impaired; however, a three-judge panel recently ruled against Travis Lance Darrah, who was charged with two counts of DUI for driving with the drug in his system in December 2011.
The DUI charge based on impairment was dropped, but he was convicted of charges based on the presence of marijuana compounds in the body. Darrah appealed the charge, arguing that the compounds did not cause impairment, but judges disagreed and his conviction stands, azcentral reports.
If you have a medical marijuana prescription and are arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired, call the Arizona DUI defense lawyers at Corso Law Group right away at (480) 471-4616.