DUI & Criminal Defense

111 East Taylor Street, Suite 120
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

CHAPTER 7:

Illegal Drug DUI

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Some Drugs Can’t Be Prescribed 

  • Per Se Violations
  • Measurable Amounts
  • Impairment
Recreational Drug DUI

Unlike Prescription Medication and Medical Marijuana DUI cases, the primary legal issue in illegal drugs DUI cases is usually not impairment – but rather prior use.  Let me explain.

Sober DUI Violations

Your doctor can’t give you a prescription to take to the pharmacy to get a bottle of Cocaine, Bath Salts, Ecstacy, Black Tar Herione, or Spice.  These drugs are considered per se illegal.  That is, proof them in your blood is in-and-of-itself proof of guilt.

Recreational Drugs DUI

Here is the kicker:

If these drugs are found in your system the considers this a DUI violation – even if you are not impaired. That’s right, Arizona makes per se use of an illegal drug the basis for a sober DUI. However, the good news is…that is not the end of the story.

Measurable Amounts in Blood

The fudamental premise of prosecuting a person for a per se violation of having an recreational drug in your system while driving is – the government will be able to detect a measurable amount of the drug in your blood.  However, easier said by them then done.

Understand this:

Measuring the amount of a drug, in blood, requires the ability to distinguish between signal versus noise. Here, the signal is the data you desire to obtain.  However, the instrument produces other information that can be difficult to different from the signal, but has not value.  That is noise.

Drug blood testing is performed using a technique called mass spectrometry.  There are many reliable forms and instruments that utilize this methodology.  Used properly, mass spectrometry can distinguish signal from noise.  However, the used properly part is where the problem occurs.

If you are accussed of a DUI, based upon having an illegal recreational drug in your system, then the government’s chemical test becomes their end-all-be-all evidence.  Thus, shouldn’t you find out if the way they created this evidence, was good enough to distinguish between real evidence and merely noise?  

  • Do You Have an Illegal Drug DUI Problem?

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