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Court Rules Arizona Can Prosecute Sober People for Driving Under the Influence
February 23, 2013, 6:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Court Rules Arizona Can Prosecute Sober People for Driving Under the Influence:

This story is a couple weeks
old but in case you missed it: An Arizona appeals court has

ruled
that motorists don’t actually have to be under the
influence to be prosecuted for driving under the influence.
Via the
Associated Press
:

An appeals court has issued a ruling that upholds the right of
authorities to prosecute pot smokers in Arizona for driving under
the influence even when there is no evidence that they are actually
high.
…The ruling overturns a decision by a lower court judge who said
it didn’t make sense to prosecute a person with no evidence they’re
under the influence.
…The case stems from a 2010 traffic stop in Maricopa County. The
motorist’s blood test revealed only a chemical compound that is
found in the blood after another compound produced from ingesting
marijuana breaks down.
According to testimony by a prosecution criminalist, the
compound found in the man’s blood doesn’t impair the ability to
drive but can remain detectable for four weeks.
…However, the Court of Appeals sided with prosecutors who
appealed, saying that allowing the testing for marijuana’s active
compound would unduly restrict law enforcement.

The ruling does not apply to the state’s 35,000 medical
marijuana patients, who are permitted to drive with pot in their
systems if they can pass a (flawed) test for impairment. Of course,
as Reason senior editor Jacob Sullum
notes
, early reports indicate pot may not actually impair
drivers all that much.
The case will be appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court.


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