Did you know you could get a driving under the influence (DUI) charge for operating a vehicle after using marijuana in Arizona? It doesn’t matter if you’re one of the thousands of people who now have a medical prescription for the drug. Arizona has zero tolerance laws in place for people who drive while impaired – regardless of the legality of the substance used. Luckily, there are a few creative ways you can avoid a marijuana DUI in the Grand Canyon State.
Get Around Without Driving
While this isn’t exactly a “clever” way to avoid a DUI, it’s the simplest and most effective. If you plan on using marijuana, don’t plan on driving – at least until you are no longer impaired by the drug. Whether you’re impaired is up to you. Unlike alcohol, there is no set limit that defines the legal amount of intoxication. If the marijuana is impairing your judgment, decision-making, or ability to drive, don’t get behind the wheel. It’s that simple.
Realize that marijuana can remain in your system a month or longer after you use the substance. Under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, this means you could feasibly get a DUI for marijuana you used a few weeks ago. This is rare, however, since the marijuana has to be active in your system for police to make an arrest. If you want to play it safe, get around by bus, designated driver, Uber, or Lyft after you use medicinal marijuana.
Don’t Give Cops a Reason to Stop
Police cannot pull you over for DUI without probable cause. Probable cause can take the form of any broken roadway rule or suspicious activity, such as failing to use a turn signal, rolling through a stop sign, or weaving in and out of your lane. If you don’t make driving errors that give police probable cause, they cannot stop you or run tests to check for DUI. Stick to speed limits (not too fast or too slow), put your headlights on at night, and pay attention to the road to avoid a stop.
Don’t Smoke Marijuana in Your Vehicle
In Arizona, the only legal place to smoke marijuana is on private property. You cannot legally medicate in a public place unless the marijuana is in edible form and you are not operating a vehicle. Not only is smoking marijuana in your vehicle illegal, it also gives police a reason to suspect impairment. If your vehicle smells strongly of marijuana, it can be probable cause enough to order a blood test.
Don’t Admit to Using Marijuana
If a cop stops your vehicle and starts asking questions about your marijuana usage, plead the Fifth Amendment and don’t answer. You have the Constitutional right not to answer an officer’s questions. Saying nothing is always better than saying the wrong thing. Admitting to using marijuana the day before or at any time can lead to a criminal charge because of Arizona’s zero tolerance rules. Do not answer questions about your medical card, possession of marijuana, or usage of the drug. If you have to say anything, say you’ll only answer questions with a Glendale marijuana DUI lawyer present.