Drug DUI Penalties - Arizona Passes SB 1228, Removing IID Requirement for Drug DUI Sentencing

Drunk Driving Attorney Serving Tempe and Surrounding Cities

James E. Novak is a Tempe DUI lawyer dedicated to serving people throughout the Phoenix area who have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These charges often carry the threat of significant penalties and jail time. Mr. Novak is a former prosecutor who draws on over 17 years of legal experience to give his clients a comprehensive and personalized defense. He works to limit the impact of a DUI by getting charges reduced or dropped whenever possible.

New Law Loosens Ignition Interlock Device Requirement in DUI Cases

A person who is pulled over on suspicion of DUI and who then tests positive for illegal drugs can be charged with driving under the influence. Sometimes, this happens even when the police cannot show when the driver actually took the drugs. Many illegal drugs stay in a person’s system for days, if not weeks, after ingestion. In other words, the police do not necessarily need to show that the drugs impaired your ability to drive. They only need to show that the drugs were in your body while you were in actual physical control of a vehicle.

Drug DUI convictions come with mandatory penalties that can result in time behind bars and hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines and restitution. Until recently, a person convicted of drug DUI was banned from driving a vehicle unless it was equipped with an ignition interlock device (IID). This technology forces a driver to take a breath alcohol test before he or she can start the car. An IID prevents the engine from starting if the driver registers more than a predetermined blood alcohol content in the breath test. It also requires the driver to complete other breath tests throughout the course of a trip. If the driver fails those tests, the engine slowly shuts down.

The only problem with this penalty is that a person convicted of drug DUI has not been proved to be drinking and driving. IIDs do not test for drugs, and therefore they seem to be a misplaced penalty for someone convicted of getting behind the wheel with controlled substances in his or her body. This is why the state legislature recently changed the law. Now, a person convicted of a DUI charge that does not involve alcohol is no longer required to get an IID. Instead, the new law leaves it up to the judge to decide whether an IID is warranted under the circumstances. The law applies to all new DUI cases.

Contact a Tempe Lawyer to Fight a DUI Charge

Despite the change, DUI defendants in Arizona still may face significant penalties. Tempe DUI attorney James E. Novak helps people try to avoid or limit those consequences by crafting the strongest possible defense under the circumstances. He understands how law enforcement officers build these cases and the strategies that prosecutors may use. Mr. Novak guides clients through the criminal justice system with experience and compassion. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Arizona, contact our firm online or at (480) 413-1499 to set up a free consultation with a drunk driving attorney. Our offices are conveniently located on South Lakeshore Drive in Tempe, and we proudly represent people in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and other cities in Maricopa County.