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Drug use can lead to a DUI, even when the drug was legal

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Living in Arizona, you may drink and use recreational cannabis as well as other drugs or intoxicating substances. It’s important to know that DUI laws can still hold you accountable if you are impaired when you’re behind the wheel, no matter what the substance is. 

Many people aren’t clear about how a traffic stop for drug-related offenses works. To begin with, it’s much like a traditional DUI stop for someone who is under the influence of alcohol. The officer may ask you to take a Breathalyzer test, and if that doesn’t come up with anything, they may turn to a drug recognition expert for support. 

What happens if a drug recognition expert is called to the scene?

When a drug recognition expert comes to the scene, they will work to determine if the driver is impaired by a substance other than alcohol. If they believe that the person is impaired, then the DUI investigation may require the driver to take a blood test. 

To have your blood taken, the officer may take you to the hospital or to a trained phlebotomist. 

What happens if the drug test comes back positive?

If the drug test comes back positive, then you can be charged with a DUI for driving while impaired by drugs. Some medications may trigger positive results on blood tests, so a positive test doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be convicted. 

Your attorney can help you build your case, so you have the best chance of minimizing the penalties you face for a drug-related DUI. When facing drugged driving charges, it helps to work on a defense strategy early.