In Arizona, drunk drivers can face serious penalties if convicted of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Penalties can range from time in jail to fines to loss of driving privileges. Many fail to consider that in the eyes of the law, drugged driving is just as serious as drunk driving, and drivers caught operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana could face very steep penalties.
Driving while high is a crime, no matter what, and if you are facing these charges, you would be wise to fight back with the assistance of an experienced defense attorney. There is much at stake, but with help, you may be able to seek and obtain a beneficial outcome to your situation. You would be wise to remember that a charge for drugged driving is not the same as a conviction.
The effect of marijuana on a driver
Law enforcement takes drugged driving very seriously, and they receive training to look for signs that a driver may be impaired. Even though the use of medical marijuana is legal in Arizona, this does not mean that a patient can drive a car after taking his or her prescription.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana can do the following to a driver:
- Slow reaction times when there is danger
- Impair a driver's judgment
- Affect vision and the way a driver perceives hazards
Studies on how marijuana affects driving reveal that the amount of THC in a driver's system can directly correlate to how well he or she operates a motor vehicle. While any type of drug, prescription or not, can affect the way a person drives, marijuana is one of the most common.
No matter if you have a prescription for the drug, misread a medication or do not think you had any discernible amount of marijuana in your system at the time of your arrest, you would be wise to fight back against the charges you are facing. You should take your case seriously and work to defend yourself, much like you would a DUI.
Your right to a defense
No matter how minor your case may seem or how airtight you think the prosecution's case against you is, it is prudent to secure legal help as soon as possible after an arrest. Drugged driving is a crime that could land you behind bars and impact your personal freedom, but you have rights and a future that are worth protecting.