Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in Burlington County

Delran NJ Drug DWI Attorneys

Although most N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 charges involve alcohol, this law also applies to Burlington County driving under the influence of drugs. An individual is “under the influence” when a drug alters the driver’s normal physical coordination and mental faculties as to render them unable to operate a motor vehicle safely. An individual is prohibited from operating in Delran NJ and elsewhere in such a condition.  A separate statute, N.J.S.A. 39:3-10.13, renders it illegal for someone to operate a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance. If you were charged in Bordentown, Westhampton, Burlington Township or Florence with a marijuana, heroin, cocaine or prescription drug related 39:4-50 violation, call our Mt. Laurel Office for immediate assistance. Our lawyers are exceptionally qualified with specialized training in DUI and several are also long time prosecutors. For a full case review and recommendation as to the best course of action in your defense, call us for a free consultation at 856-234-8900.

DUI Drug Offense in Mt. Laurel

The primary difference between a drug based DUI and one involving classic intoxication lies in the proof necessary to establish guilt. In a drug case, the state must present scientific evidence in the form of a blood test or urine test as opposed to through a breathalyzer reading. In the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Missouri v. McNeely, however, it was held that blood test normally cannot be taken without a warrant. The result is that, in most instances, police must have a warrant in order to conduct a valid blood draw. The sample and resulting blood test results are inadmissible absent a warrant in most cases. It appears that the same would hold true for urine samples based on McNeely.

Assuming that the police comply with the warrant requirement and are able to secure a blood test that is positive for drugs, there must be expert testimony regarding impairment. This must come from a specially trained police officer referred to as a drug recognition expert (“DRE”). The DRE is trained in detection of impairment by drugs, including Ambien, cocaine, heroin, and prescription drugs like Roxycontin, Hydrocodone, etc. This police expert will have to issue a report corroborating that he/she examined the accused, conducted objective testing, and arrived at an opinion that there was a “substantial deterioration or diminution of mental faculties or physical coordination.”  A police officer lacking DRE certification is unable to provide this expert testimony except in marijuana cases.

Penalties That Apply To Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in Southampton

The penalties for a first offense of driving under the influence of drugs includes a 7-12 month license suspension. The Southampton municipal judge may also enter a fine of $300-$500, various state assessments of about $325, court costs of $33, and require you to serve 12 hours in the IDRC. There is also a state DMV surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years. The monetary consequences are very similar for a second offense or third offense but the license suspension escalates to 2 years and 10 years respectively. There is also mandatory jail for a second offense of 2-90 days and 180 days for a third offense.

Defense Lawyer in Evesham for Drug DWI/DUI

As the town in Burlington County with the highest number of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 summonses each year, Evesham has more than a share of driving under the influence of CDS/drugs. It certainly helps that the Evesham Police Department employs multiple officers who are DRE certified. Our firm is available to discuss your drug DUI in Evesham or anywhere else you may be facing this charge. Call us 24/7 at 856-234-8900 to speak to a lawyer on our staff.

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