Arizona's Drugged Driving Law

Learn about the laws and penalties for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in Arizona.

Arizona’s drugged driving law is located at § 28-1381 of the Arizona code. The law states that it is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in this state … “while there is any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in the person's body.”

Arizona has what is known as a per se (also known as a “zero tolerance”) prohibition against drugged driving. That means that a driver may be arrested if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that any prohibited drug (even if it’s just a trace) is in the driver's body while the driver is in control of the vehicle. Actual evidence of impaired driving is not essential as long as the police officer has a reasonable belief that the driver is on something while behind the wheel.

What drugs are prohibited?

Arizona’s drugged driving law is directed at the prohibition of substances listed in Section 13-3401 of the Arizona code. It’s not an acceptable defense to a drugged driving charge to claim that the driver is legally entitled to use a prohibited substance although exceptions are granted for drivers who were prescribed the substance by a medical practitioner.

What happens if a driver is convicted of drug impaired driving in Arizona?

A driver arrested for drugged driving in Arizona will be charged with driving under the influence and subject to DUI penalties. A conviction for drugged driving will be considered as a prior offense for purposes of calculating punishment regardless of whether a subsequent offense is due to alcohol or drugs. Read more about Arizona’s DUI laws.

Do Arizona drivers have to submit to drug testing?

Yes, there is an implied consent rule for blood and urine testing. The refusal to take the test can be admitted into evidence against the driver.

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