State v. Hammonds

In State v. Hammonds, 192 Ariz. 528, 968 P.2d 601 (App. 1998), the Court addressed another constitutional challenge to 28-692(A)(3). 192 Ariz. at 530,6, 968 P.2d at 603. In that case, the defendant displayed symptoms of intoxication and was arrested for DUI. Id. at2. After tests revealed low alcohol concentrations, the arresting officers suspected drug use and the defendant provided a urine sample, which revealed the presence of Carboxy-THC as well as metabolites of a prescription drug. Id. at 3-4. The State charged the defendant with two counts of DUI. Id. at5. A jury acquitted the defendant of driving while impaired, but convicted him of driving with a drug or its metabolite in the body. Id. at6. On appeal, we rejected the defendant's equal protection argument. Id. at 533,17, 968 P.2d at 606. The Court reiterated the broad statement in State v. Phillips that the "statute created a flat ban on driving with any proscribed substance in the body, whether capable of causing impairment or not." Id. at 531,9, 968 P.2d at 604. The Court also found other "cogent reasons" for broadly interpreting the ban on drug use while driving. Id. at10. For example, the Court noted metabolic rates differ from drug to drug and that the "presence of an illicit drug's metabolite whether active or inactive establishes the possibility of the presence of the active, impairing component of the drug." Id. This fact, we concluded, "justifies the legislature banning entirely the right to drive when the metabolite is present." Id. at11.