Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Arizona DUI Test for Marijuana

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When people have alcohol in their system above a certain level, it’s safe to say that in a scientific sense that they are impaired at the time the measurement was taken. That’s because alcohol travels through a person’s system in a relatively quick fashion, and the tests that are used will catch someone who is under the influence of this substance. However, that is not necessarily how it works with other drugs, as it’s possible for certain substances to remain in a person’s system long after he or she was impaired by any of them. This leads to complications when it comes to testing for DUI in Arizona.


One of the substances that tends to work like that is marijuana. Active ingredients in marijuana tend to remain in a person’s system for some time, and that has been the subject of much controversy regarding DUI arrests in Arizona. An appeals court has recently ruled on this issue, and below is a brief overview of this ruling. Anyone who has been arrested and faces prosecution for this crime needs to obtain the help of experienced Arizona DUI defense lawyers as soon as possible.

Arizona DUI Testing – Marijuana

When someone is arrested on suspicion of DUI in Arizona, they can have their blood and/or their urine tested for the presence of intoxicants. These tests tend to reveal the presence of two different compounds that indicate marijuana use. One of these compounds leads to intoxication while the other does not. This question was the center of the case that an appeals court recently analyzed.

A suspect was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Arizona and tests revealed the presence of marijuana. The defendant claimed that the mere presence of marijuana in the system did not definitively prove that he was under the influence of the drug at the time. The trial court agreed, stating that it was illogical to use evidence to convict someone that did not prove that he had committed the crime as it is laid out in the statutes.

However, the higher court overruled this decision and stated that the test could be used and that the presence of marijuana in a person’s system could be used as evidence of that person’s intoxication at the time he or she operated a vehicle. The court held that this was valid even though the presence of marijuana can remain in a person’s system for up to four weeks after using it.

Clearly, this decision is a blow to people who use marijuana, even if they live in a state where medical marijuana is legal and such a person has a permit to use it. This is yet another reason that anyone who is arrested on suspicion of this crime needs to take immediate steps to build a strong defense. If you or someone you love face this charge, you need to seek the help of Arizona DUI defense lawyers who have been standing up for the rights of the accused for many years. Contact the Law Offices of Douglas A. Schwab today to schedule an initial consultation.

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For the last several years, Mr. Schwab has practiced exclusively as an Arizona criminal defense attorney. Mr. Schwab has handled numerous high profile and complex criminal cases (Media Link). He has handled a variety of cases including, but not limited to, misdemeanor and felony DUI's, sale and possession of drugs, child abuse, sex assault, attempted murder, fraud and theft, probation violations, and aggravated assaults. He has handled thousands of criminal cases and conducted over 50 trials including numerous jury trials involving misdemeanor, serious felony and dangerous felony charges.

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