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Mesa AZ Gets Grant to Improve Drug DUI Evidence Processing

Grant will help expedite the resolution of Drug DUI charges

The Prosecution of the City of Mesa was awarded a Drug DUI enforcement grant of $6,787. The money is earmarked for crime lab expenses. It will allow the crime lab to stay opened an additional, 240 hours per year. The purpose of the expanded operating time is to dedicate it solely for the purpose of processing Mesa Drug DUI evidence. It is expected to increase drug DUI case processing to an average of 210 cases, and expedite the resolution of charges.

AZ Drug DUI Laws

Under Arizona Law A.R.S. 28-1381 a person may be found guilty of Drug DUI charges if they have been driving or actual physical control of a vehicle while:

  • Under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or toxic substance; and
  • Their ability to drive is “impaired to the slightest degree.”

A person convicted of this offense will be guilty of a Class 1 Misdemeanor Charge.

Drug DUI Investigations

Police must have reasonable suspicion that a violation of the law is in progress or has occurred, in order to conduct a DUI stop. The police will approach the vehicle, conduct routine review of ID, vehicle registration, driver’s license and insurance. If they suspect a person was driving impaired due to their observations during this process, they may request a preliminary breath test (PBT). If it is negative for alcohol, they will request a blood or other chemical test to determine if the driver had drugs, Marijuana, or any toxic substances that could potentially cause impairment in driving.

Breathalyzer tests do not reveal the existence of drugs in a person’s system. If the police have probable cause that a person was driving impaired, they will make the pending the lab test results. If the lab results are positive for a particular drug, for example Marijuana, a person will be formally charged with Drug DUI. Also, during the stop a motorist should request a second blood or urine sample to be collected and stored for their defense.

Consequences of Drug DUI Charges

The Penalties for a Class 1 Misdemeanor, Drug DUI, are very similar to convictions of driving impaired due to alcohol. Sentencing includes 10 day jail terms; suspension of driver’s licenses; fines, fees and costs of at least $1,250.00; probation; and substance abuse counseling or treatment. If a substance abuse program is completed successfully, it will reduce incarceration from 10 days to 24 hours in jail.

Defense Lawyer for Mesa DUI charges

If you were arrested for any impaired driving charges, you should retain a criminal defense attorney. A conviction carries not only harsh sentencing but can result in other collateral consequences such as loss of job or future opportunities, deportation, criminal record and other unexpected adverse consequences. You should retain your attorney as early as possible, so they can protect your rights, and defend your charges. A good DUI lawyer will have the blood test or other chemical evidence retested.

If the independent lab results on not conclusive or are materially inconsistent with the crime lab results, it may lead to suppression of the evidence and a dismissal of charges. Other defenses may be available such as constitutional rights violations that your legal advocate may use to help defend the charges. Defenses and challenges are most effective when presented by an experienced DUI attorney on your behalf.

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