If you were arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs (DUI), also referred to as drug DWI, do not assume the State has the evidence to prove you are guilty. An experienced lawyer at our New Jersey defense firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, is ready to educate you regarding the requirements to prove a drug DWI, how the facts of your case apply, and the potential issues to prevent a conviction in your case.
Defending a Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Charge
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges can be brought in New Jersey against a person suspected of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), including any narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug. Driving is prohibited if a driver is impaired by marijuana, cocaine, or narcotics, including prescription drugs. The standard of proof to convict an individual for driving under the influence of drugs is different for marijuana and other forms of CDS. A detailed review of the law applicable to Marijuana DWI includes a discussion of the most important case on this issue, State v. Bealor, 187 N.J. 574 (2006), which can be found on this site by clicking here. We have also provided a detailed discussion on drug DWI where someone is alleged to be driving under the influence of a prescription drug. You should know, however, that irrespective of the drug involved under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, a fundamental prerequisite to the state’s case is some form of toxicology (e.g. blood test, urine test, etc.).
Challenging Chemical Tests for Drug Use
New Jersey’s implied consent law is limited to alcohol, and does not require the driver of a car to provide a blood, breath, or urine sample if suspected of using drugs. In fact, the Supreme Court has now gone as far as to state that an individual has a reasonable expectation against an involuntary blood draw such that police are generally required to seek a search warrant in order to take blood. An exception does, however, still appear to exist for truck drivers and those holding a commercial drivers license (CDL).
Blood or Urine Evidence is Not Enough to Prove a Drug DUI
The level of a drug in a person’s bloodstream does not accurately reflect the level of intoxication. While it may establish the existence of a legal or illegal drug in a person’s body, it does not prove that the individual was affected, that is, impaired in such a way as to prevent them from operating a vehicle safely. For example, in the case of marijuana, it remains in blood for thirty (30) days yet the “high” is little more than a few hours. Accordingly, in order to prove a drug DWI in New Jersey, the law generally requires that the state subject a suspect to a series of tests administered by a drug recognition expert (DRE). If the police station you were tested at did not have a DRE on staff when you were there, the evidence will be inadmissible in all likelihood.
Every situation is unique, and there are a number of defenses to driving under the influence of drug (DUID) charges. If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers about circumstances surrounding your arrest, please call toll free 877-450-8301 or e-mail our law firm to arrange a free consultation with a lawyer.