Chandler DUI Drug Arrests
According to a recent article on AZCentral.com (by Jim Walsh), authorities claim more DUI arrests these days are attributed to drugs, not alcohol. As a result of this increase in drug related DUI cases, law enforcement agencies in Chandler and across the State of Arizona have increased the number of officers trained to recognize the symptoms of drug impairment over the last few decades, from just a few officers to the nearly 500 current DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) trained officers. According to statistics from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), a 13% decrease in total DUI arrests was reported from 2011 to 2012, however; the number of DUI drug arrests increased by 12% during this time. This trend in drug-related DUI arrests was highlighted over the recent holidays between Thanksgiving and the New Year, with Mesa officers participating in the East Valley DUI Task Force, making 540 DUI arrests, of which 344 (63%) were for drug-related DUIs. According to southeast valley law enforcement agencies – including Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office – officers are seeing a growing trend of drug-related DUI’s. These include cases involving prescription-drugs, like painkillers or muscle relaxers, sometimes mixed with alcohol, as well as synthetic drugs, such as spice and bath salts. Officers say they are trained to look for various symptoms of drug use, including bloodshot or watery eyes, odors of drugs (such as marijuana), slow or slurred speech, and they also consider other factors, such as driving behavior prior to the stop.
What is unclear in these statistics is whether the number of drug related DUI arrests is on the rise as a result of more drivers impaired by drugs or a reflection of the significant increase in the number of officers now trained to identify drug impairment. Regardless of what this increase is attributed to, criminal defense attorneys are likewise seeing more cases involving drug related DUIs, and need to be well versed in the unique differences between alcohol and drug related DUI cases when investigating and litigating these types of cases. While there can be any number of possible defenses in a DUI Drug impairment case, one of the more common defenses might include – the individual was NOT under the influence of drugs, among many other possible defenses. The penalties for a drug based DUI track the penalties of alcohol based DUI’s with one notable exception. If you are convicted for a drug based DUI, the minimum driver’s license revocation period is 1 full year for a misdemeanor offense and 3 years for a felony offense. A drug based DUI presents its own unique challenges and you should seek out a criminal defense attorney knowledgeable in this complex area of DUI litigation.
If you were charged with a DUI-Drugs case in Chandler, this Firm can help whether your case is in the Chandler Municipal Court or the San Tan Regional Justice Center in Chandler. The Firm has defended countless DUI cases and will fight vigorously on behalf of each and every client.
**This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact the Firm to schedule a consultation regarding your case.