Avoiding Marijuana DUI

Posted by Craig Penrod | Sep 09, 2013 | 0 Comments

Many people use marijuana legally with their medical marijuana card or Washington and Colorado's recent recreational use laws. But as far as Arizona law goes, if you drive when you use it, even if it was weeks ago, it is still illegal. If an officer pulls you over for any reason and you give suspicion that you are driving under the influence, you could be subjected to a field sobriety test or have your blood tested. Even if you aren't intoxicated, the blood test will still show that you smoked marijuana at some point in time.  You can avoid these kinds of charges while Arizona continues to decide on what to do about these recent laws.

  • Do Not Drive. I know emergencies can happen, but if you have been using medical marijuana to treat some kind of ailment, it is best to have someone drive for you.
  • Emergencies. If you really must drive and are not impaired but are still in that timeframe where marijuana has not left your system, avoid suspicious behavior that could get you pulled over. Making a wide turn, having a broken tail light or failure to stop at a stop sign will give police a reason to pull you over.
  • Pulled Over. We all know how allergy season can be in Arizona. It's possible to look intoxicated if you have a bad allergy attack, this usually causes your eyes to turn red or bloodshot (a common sign of intoxication). When the officer has you pulled over, if you or your car smells like marijuana, you are more than likely going to get asked to take a field sobriety test or be arrested and have a blood test administered.
  • Asked If You Have A Card. This question will give an officer good reason to arrest you. If you answer yes, the officer will know that if they bring you in, they will get a positive test. The best thing to do would be to remain silent and request you speak to a lawyer.

Even if you are combatting an ailment with medical marijuana legally, it's still illegal to drive while impaired. If you find yourself at risk of being charged any kind of DUI, call The Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C. for a free consultation at (480) 753-5888 or visit our website at

About the Author

Craig Penrod

Craig W. Penrod was born and raised in Arizona and has practiced criminal defense for over 30 years. Mr. Penrod is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, Maricopa County Bar Association, State of Nevada Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


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