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Medical Marijuana facts in Mesa

Taking a Fresh Look at Medical Marijuana and Driving Facts in Arizona!

Now that medical marijuana has been legal in Mesa for a few years, it is time to take a fresh look at issues pertaining to medical marijuana use and driving. While you cannot be arrested for the use of medical marijuana in Arizona, if you drive under the influence of marijuana, you can very well be charged with a DUI.

So what has changed since medical marijuana has become a thing in Arizona and what do consumers and law enforcement personnel be aware of?

Taking a Fresh Look at Medical Marijuana and Driving Facts in Arizona!

Everything you need to know about the current state of medical marijuana and DUI laws in Arizona.
Mesa, Arizona

 

Here is an updated list of your most common medical marijuana and driving questions and answers:

What is the current state of medical marijuana use across the U.S.?

As of January 2016, 23 states allow the use of medical marijuana, while four more states (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington) have legalized marijuana for recreational use. In addition, sixteen states are having something in the works to legalize recreational marijuana use.

Law enforcement is facing new challenges.

With the legalization of medical and/or recreational marijuana use it has become necessary to find new ways on how to detect if a driver is impaired or intoxicated from marijuana use. As it is well-known, Mesa police officers are utilizing field sobriety tests and breathalyzers for alcohol detection and to determine if a drunk driving charge is indicated.

While there are no breathalyzers for marijuana use are on the market as of yet, Swedish scientists are working on developing a breathalyzer that can not only detect marijuana, but also drugs such as cocaine, heroine and others.

Currently the only way to tell for sure if a driver is under the influence of marijuana is through a urine or blood test, both of which are often viewed to be excessively intrusive. Plus processing them can take weeks or even months.

Marijuana DUI Penalties in Arizona

Your first Marijuana DUI offense counts as a misdemeanor. If convicted you will facing similar penalties as if you were convicted of drunk driving. Sentences may include but are not limited to the following:

  • 1 to 10 days in jail;
  • Driver’s License suspension of up to 90 days;
  • Mandatory drug screening, education, counseling or treatment;
  • Fines and fees of$1250.00;
  • Probation or Community Service

Your second Marijuana DUI offense is still a misdemeanors. But the penalties are going to be more severe:

  • Minimum 3 months jail, with 30 days consecutive;
  • Driver’s License Revocation for 1 year;
  • $3,000.00 fines, fees, costs, assessments;
  • Mandatory drug education, screening, counseling, or treatment;
  • Probation or community service

Finally, your third offense if it occurs within 7 years of the previous will be charged as an Aggravated DUI (Felony):

  • 4 months in prison for third offense;
  • 8 months in prison for subsequent offense after three;
  • $4,000.00 fines, fees, costs, assessments;
  • Driver’s license revocation for three years;
  • Possible forfeiture of vehicle;
  • Mandatory drug education, counseling or treatment;
  • Parole, probation, and community service

Marijuana Driving Laws Across the U.S:

Medical Marijuana facts in Mesa
Eighteen U.S. states have currently a zero tolerance or non-zero per se for marijuana, nine states have zero tolerance laws for THC or a metabolite(marijuana metabolite can take up to six weeks to clear from your system if you are a heavy user), three more states have zero tolerance for THC but not metabolites while five more have specific limits for THC and Colorado has what is knows as a reasonable interference law for THC.

How do Marijuana and Alcohol Use Stack up on the Road?

A study release by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has determined that driving after marijuana consumption does not make you more likely to crash on Arizona roads. That it some really big news, especially considering that marijuana related DUI offenses are not treated any differently than alcohol related ones. This does not mean that marijuana use doesn’t impact your senses, however,
“In the study, testing positive for marijuana was defined as having delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinal (THC) in the system. The number of legal drug users and illegal drug users involved in crashes was statistically insignificant.” thinkprogress.org

Other Considerations and Need to Know Facts about Medical Marijuana Use and Possession in Arizona

  • While it is legal to use medical marijuana, due to a 2012 revision of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act known as the “campus-ban statute” it is illegal to be used or be in possession of medical marijuana on college campuses, correctional facilities, school buses, preschools, high schools and public spaces. It is irrelevant whether you have a card or not.
  • if you have a valid medical marijuana card, you can use it legally, even while you are on probation.
  • medical marijuana use is reserved for those in “severe and chronic pain”
  • you are allowed to receive 2.5 oz of medical marijuana every two weeks
  • patients and caregivers are subjected to fingerprinting for law enforcement and sign a statement that they will not distribute marijuana to non-patients.

Clearly medical marijuana DUIs and their implications are still in their infancy. There is lots that still needs to be worked out. For example, is it fair to charge someone with medical marijuana DUI if it takes much longer to leave your body than alcohol? What are the implications of insufficient field testing methods?

If you or a loved one have been charged with a medical marijuana DUI in Mesa or nearby communities, the experienced Mesa DUI attorneys with My AZ lawyers can help you. Contact us today to learn more about our DUI defense strategies and talk to us first-before you talk to the police.

Published By:
My AZ Lawyers

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800

Glendale Location:
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450

Arizona DUI Rates are Dropping — Does This Mean Stricter Laws are Working?

Arizona DUI Rates are Dropping -- Does This Mean Stricter Laws are Working?

Arizona DUI Rates are Dropping — Does This Mean Stricter Laws are Working?

For the third year in a row, the number of DUI arrests in the state has dropped!
Mesa, Arizona

 

Arizona has a reputation as one of the toughest states on drunk driving offenders. In the last decade, it has passed laws that have made things even tougher on those convicted of DUI, and it seems that those efforts have paid off. For the third year in a row, the number of DUI arrests in the state has dropped.

According to the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, there were only 24,674 DUI arrests in 2015, which was down from 29,250 arrests in 2014. In 2013, there were 31,891 DUI arrests, and in 2012, there were 32,174 arrests.

The 2015 numbers were for arrests from Jan. 1 to Dec. 27.

The number of arrests for extreme DUI cases also dropped. (Extreme DUI is the charge for those with a blood-alcohol content of .15 or more, compared with 0.08 for a standard DUI charge.) In 2015, there were 6,742 extreme DUI arrests. That was down from 8,414 arrests in 2014.

Though the number of arrests was down in 2015, the average BAC numbers were up. The average BAC was .158 last year, compared with .152 in 2014.

A look back at some of the recent changes to Arizona DUI laws may explain why the state has seen such a drop in these offenses:

2008 Changes to the Law

2008 was the year that ushered in some of the most recent changes for Arizona DUI laws.

Starting in September, the state could look at previous DUIs going back seven years when determining sentencing. Previously, the state only looked back five years. That made a DUI defense a lot tougher for past offenders.

In addition, changes to the law made it no longer possible for judges to suspend part of the jail sentence for those convicted of extreme DUI or super extreme DUI (the charge for those with a BAC of .20 or more). An exception could not be made for first offenders.

The laws set new mandatory minimums for offenders, as well. Now, those convicted of an extreme DUI had to serve a minimum of 30 days in jail on the first offense and 120 days on the second offense. The mandatory minimum for those convicted of a super extreme DUI was 45 days in jail on the first offense and six months in jail on the second offense.

Other changes in the law included requiring an alcohol screening before a license could be reinstated after a suspension and requiring an ignition interlock device on a vehicle for at least a year after a DUI conviction.

The stakes were much higher with these changes, and working with a Mesa DUI lawyer became even more necessary after these laws were passed.

2012 Changes to the Law

In 2012, Arizona made some more changes to its DUI laws, but this time to make them a little more forgiving.

Primarily, these changes benefited first-time DUI offenders. Under these new laws, those convicted of their first DUI charge only have to spend one day in jail. Offenders can also get credit for time they have already spent in a holding cell or as part of the booking process.

The new laws also made it so that a judge could allow offenders to serve only 20 percent of their time in a jail cell and spend the rest of the time in a home-detention program. Therefore, if an offender was sentenced to 30 days, they would only have to serve six days in jail and could spend the rest of the time in a home-detention program.

The only exception is if a city or county does not have a home-detention program. However, the new laws also gave county sheriffs, city councils, and county boards of supervisors the authority to create these home-detention programs.

New laws also made standard DUI charges ineligible for a jury trial. Some believe that this has denied people the right to a fair trial, but the state argues that it saves money on prosecution of DUI charges.

Other changes with the most recent laws include allowing jail sentences to be shortened if the offender has an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. The mandatory time for first-time offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed was shortened to six months from a year. First-time offenders can also take a special education course to reduce the time they have to have the ignition interlock device on their vehicle.

Arizona is one of the only states that requires first-time offenders to have an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. Offenders must pay for the device themselves.

Though the length of time was reduced, the requirement to have these devices has coincided with a reduction in deaths caused by DUI. Overall, Arizona has seen a sharp reduction in the number of DUI cases and injuries and fatalities related to them.

Currently, no further changes to the laws have been announced for 2016.

Wherever you live, being charged with a DUI is very serious and it requires working with a good DUI lawyer to minimize the penalties or have the charges dismissed. However, if you live in Arizona, a good

DUI defense becomes even more important. The state’s strict laws will lead to serious repercussions, even if you are a first-time offender.

My AZ Lawyers has been representing Arizona residents charged with DUI offenses for years. Our experienced Mesa DUI defense team has been practicing throughout the changes made to the DUI laws, and they have been creating strong defense strategies that have helped their clients. Our attorneys know how to build a DUI defense for first-time offenders as well as multiple offenders. They fight to protect clients from the legal penalties, such as jail time and fines, as well as the personal ramifications from the stigma of a DUI conviction. Call us today to find out how a DUI lawyer from our team can help you and to start to plan your DUI defense.

Published By:
My AZ Lawyers

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800

Glendale Location:
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450

Arizona DUI Rates are Dropping -- Does This Mean Stricter Laws are Working?

For the third year in a row, the number of DUI arrests in the state has dropped!
Mesa, Arizona

 

Arizona has a reputation as one of the toughest states on drunk driving offenders. In the last decade, it has passed laws that have made things even tougher on those convicted of DUI, and it seems that those efforts have paid off. For the third year in a row, the number of DUI arrests in the state has dropped.

According to the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, there were only 24,674 DUI arrests in 2015, which was down from 29,250 arrests in 2014. In 2013, there were 31,891 DUI arrests, and in 2012, there were 32,174 arrests.

The 2015 numbers were for arrests from Jan. 1 to Dec. 27.

The number of arrests for extreme DUI cases also dropped. (Extreme DUI is the charge for those with a blood-alcohol content of .15 or more, compared with 0.08 for a standard DUI charge.) In 2015, there were 6,742 extreme DUI arrests. That was down from 8,414 arrests in 2014.

Though the number of arrests was down in 2015, the average BAC numbers were up. The average BAC was .158 last year, compared with .152 in 2014.

A look back at some of the recent changes to Arizona DUI laws may explain why the state has seen such a drop in these offenses:

2008 Changes to the Law

2008 was the year that ushered in some of the most recent changes for Arizona DUI laws.

Starting in September, the state could look at previous DUIs going back seven years when determining sentencing. Previously, the state only looked back five years. That made a DUI defense a lot tougher for past offenders.

In addition, changes to the law made it no longer possible for judges to suspend part of the jail sentence for those convicted of extreme DUI or super extreme DUI (the charge for those with a BAC of .20 or more). An exception could not be made for first offenders.

The laws set new mandatory minimums for offenders, as well. Now, those convicted of an extreme DUI had to serve a minimum of 30 days in jail on the first offense and 120 days on the second offense. The mandatory minimum for those convicted of a super extreme DUI was 45 days in jail on the first offense and six months in jail on the second offense.

Other changes in the law included requiring an alcohol screening before a license could be reinstated after a suspension and requiring an ignition interlock device on a vehicle for at least a year after a DUI conviction.

The stakes were much higher with these changes, and working with a Mesa DUI lawyer became even more necessary after these laws were passed.

2012 Changes to the Law

In 2012, Arizona made some more changes to its DUI laws, but this time to make them a little more forgiving.

Primarily, these changes benefited first-time DUI offenders. Under these new laws, those convicted of their first DUI charge only have to spend one day in jail. Offenders can also get credit for time they have already spent in a holding cell or as part of the booking process.

The new laws also made it so that a judge could allow offenders to serve only 20 percent of their time in a jail cell and spend the rest of the time in a home-detention program. Therefore, if an offender was sentenced to 30 days, they would only have to serve six days in jail and could spend the rest of the time in a home-detention program.

The only exception is if a city or county does not have a home-detention program. However, the new laws also gave county sheriffs, city councils, and county boards of supervisors the authority to create these home-detention programs.

New laws also made standard DUI charges ineligible for a jury trial. Some believe that this has denied people the right to a fair trial, but the state argues that it saves money on prosecution of DUI charges.

Other changes with the most recent laws include allowing jail sentences to be shortened if the offender has an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. The mandatory time for first-time offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed was shortened to six months from a year. First-time offenders can also take a special education course to reduce the time they have to have the ignition interlock device on their vehicle.

Arizona is one of the only states that requires first-time offenders to have an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. Offenders must pay for the device themselves.

Though the length of time was reduced, the requirement to have these devices has coincided with a reduction in deaths caused by DUI. Overall, Arizona has seen a sharp reduction in the number of DUI cases and injuries and fatalities related to them.

Currently, no further changes to the laws have been announced for 2016.

Wherever you live, being charged with a DUI is very serious and it requires working with a good DUI lawyer to minimize the penalties or have the charges dismissed. However, if you live in Arizona, a good

DUI defense becomes even more important. The state’s strict laws will lead to serious repercussions, even if you are a first-time offender.

My AZ Lawyers has been representing Arizona residents charged with DUI offenses for years. Our experienced Mesa DUI defense team has been practicing throughout the changes made to the DUI laws, and they have been creating strong defense strategies that have helped their clients. Our attorneys know how to build a DUI defense for first-time offenders as well as multiple offenders. They fight to protect clients from the legal penalties, such as jail time and fines, as well as the personal ramifications from the stigma of a DUI conviction. Call us today to find out how a DUI lawyer from our team can help you and to start to plan your DUI defense.

Published By:
My AZ Lawyers

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800

Glendale Location:
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450

Arrested for Phoenix DUI Without Displaying Any Signs of Impairment?

Can a Person be Arrested for DUI Without Displaying Any Signs of Impairment?

Yes, a person can be arrested for DUI without displaying any signs of impairment. A person is guilty of DUI if they are driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs or some combination thereof. There is no requirement that the person display any signs of impairment. In fact, years ago a former judge used to give a DUI jury trial instruction which told the jury, “it is not necessary that the signs of intoxication be so obvious that they are actually visible.”

Arrested for Phoenix DUI Without Displaying Any Signs of Impairment?However, if the person does not display any signs of impairment an experienced and skilled DUI lawyer may be able to get the case dismissed. In order to be arrested for DUI a police officer must have probable cause, at the time of the arrest, that someone is in fact guilty of DUI. “Probable cause” requires that the officer possess sufficiently trustworthy facts to believe that a crime has been committed. A DUI lawyer in Phoenix AZ can always file a motion in court alleging that the arresting officer did not have probable cause to arrest the person for DUI.

The judge will then set a hearing on the motion, at which the officer or officers who made the arrest must explain to the judge why they felt they had probable cause to make the arrest for DUI. The experienced defense lawyer can cross-examine the officers to discredit their reasons so that in the absence of any signs of impairment the officers did not have sufficiently trustworthy facts to show the person was DUI. Remember, to show probable cause the officers must show what facts were known to them at the time of arrest, and not afterwards, so any breath or blood tests obtained after the arrest cannot be used to show probable cause.

The experienced lawyer can question how the officers could have sufficiently trustworthy facts that the person was impaired by alcohol or drugs, and therefore DUI, if at the time of the arrest the alcohol or drugs was having no visible effects on the person? If the evidence at the hearing shows that the person did not display signs of impairment the judge may very well say the police did not have sufficiently trustworthy facts of DUI, and therefore no probable cause to arrest the person. If the judge says there was no probable cause to make the arrest then the case gets dismissed.

A person arrested for an Arizona DUI should always get an experienced DUI lawyer to review the case to see if the case can be dismissed because the police had no probable cause.

Guest Blog Published By:

States with top drivers under the influence of drugs

Top States Where Alcohol and Drugs Cause Traffic Fatalities

Top States With DUI Fatalities Drivers who are under the influence are a threat no matter where you live. Drugs and alcohol can impair a driver’s judgment, putting everyone else on the road at risk. Reaction times are slowed, drivers are unable to stay in the right lane, they run stop signs and red lights, and they disregard traffic laws. The results can be catastrophic.

DrugTreatment.com recently released information about the states with the most traffic fatalities caused by drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The publication analyzed 18 years of data between 1995 and 2013, and it found that 26 percent of all fatal accidents involved drugs and alcohol, resulting in 267,598 deaths.

The state with the most fatal accidents involving alcohol was South Dakota. The state had 22 fatal accidents involving a driver under the influence for every 100,000 residents. At least one person was killed in each of those accidents, but sometimes more.

The states filling out the top 10, in order, were Wyoming, Arkansas, Nebraska, Montana, Mississippi, Maine, Kentucky, Louisiana, and West Virginia.

North Dakota had the most fatal car accidents involving drugs — eight for every 100,000 residents. Filling out the top 10, in order, were Wyoming, Montana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Vermont, South Dakota, South Carolina and Alabama.

DrugTreatment.com further broke down the types of accidents according to county. For example, it found that accidents involving marijuana were most prevalent in Hawaii, while accidents involving narcotics were most prevalent in Arizona (specifically, Yavapai County).

Other than this county showing up for the most accidents involving narcotics, Arizona did not land on any of these lists for the highest number of traffic fatalities. However, that doesn’t mean that drivers in the state are safe from these risks.

States with top drivers under the influence of drugs According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 708 fatal crashes in the state last year, out of 109,554 crashes total. Only 238 of those crashes involved alcohol. The other fatal accidents were primarily caused by high speeds or distracted driving. Many fatalities were also attributed to not using a safety belt.

The Auto Insurance Center also put together a list of the top causes for traffic fatalities in each state, and police pursuit was cited as the top cause in Arizona. (Other states who shared this top cause were South Dakota, Texas, Alabama and Georgia.)

Other than moving out of the way when you see an obviously erratic driver, there is not much you can do about other drivers on the road. Even the best defensive driving cannot guarantee your safety.

Any accident involving drugs or alcohol can result in serious injuries. If you are involved in a serious accident, working with the right personal injury lawyer can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. My AZ Lawyers offers experienced and aggressive Mesa DUI representation to get you results. We’ll pursue the maximum compensation the law allows to ensure that you get the medical care you need and that your family’s financial future is protected. Call us today to discuss your case.

Published By:
My AZ Lawyers

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800

Glendale Location:
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450

Avondale Location:
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 499-4222

Affordable Criminal Defense in Mesa

Low Cost Criminal Defense and DUI Lawyers in Mesa

Maricopa County Criminal Defense Attorneys and DUI Attorneys

Free Consultations

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Aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyers in Mesa, Arizona

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI or another criminal offense in Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, or another community in Maricopa County, Arizona, consider hiring an experienced Mesa, Arizona DUI attorney or DUI lawyer who knows the Arizona DUI laws and will fight for your rights. The Arizona DUI lawyers at My AZ Lawyers, PLLC are a group of Mesa DUI attorneys dedicated to providing you with aggressive criminal law representation.

Chances are you may not know what to do first after being arrested for DUI in Mesa, AZ, particularly if this is your first experience with the criminal justice system. You’re not the only driver to be unnerved by an Arizona DUI investigation.  It can be a scary experience as one minute you’re driving, and then suddenly you’re outside of your car along a busy Arizona street or freeway. Our Mesa based DUI attorneys will help you navigate the state’s complex criminal justice system and ensure that every aspect of your drunk driving case is skillfully addressed.  We will aggressively defend your criminal case in Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona.

Defending a DUI charge in Mesa, Arizona takes skill, knowledge, and a deep insight into
the process. Not all DUI law firms have the resources, experience, and training that can
be found at My AZ Lawyers, PLLC.

 Once you have been arrested, you may wonder if there’s any point in defending your case.  After all, the Arizona district attorney wouldn’t be pursuing a drunk driving case against you without having all the evidence needed to convict you, right? That’s a valid assumption, but also a fool’s thought. The Mesa DUI attorneys at My AZ Lawyers , PLLC have successfully fought many drunk driving charges and helped their clients to avoid the substantial repercussions of a driving under the influence conviction.

CALL (480) 833-8000 NOW for a Free Consultation and Case Evaluation.

My AZ Lawyers, PLLC   “AFFORDABLE LEGAL HELP FOR AZ”

Rob Curigliano, Expert CRIMINAL DEFENSE AND DUI attorneys

1731 W. Baseline Road, Suite 100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 833-8000

Low Cost DUI Attorneys in Arizona | Affordable Maricopa County Criminal Defense | Mesa DUI Lawyers and DUI Attorneys | the Arizona DUI Lawyers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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