In New Jersey, it is unlawful to drive while under the influence of any intoxicating substance. Thus, a person who is impaired due to the use of illicit drugs may be charged with a DUI offense. The field sobriety tests for determining whether a person is impaired due to the use of drugs differ from those in cases involving alcohol, and because drug DUI crimes are less common than alcohol-induced DWI charges, the tests are not widely employed. That does not mean the results of such testing will be deemed inadmissible, however, as demonstrated in a recent ruling in which the court upheld the defendant’s conviction for DUI, finding there was sufficient evidence to establish his guilt. If you are charged with driving under the influence of drugs, it is smart to consult a New Jersey DUI defense lawyer regarding your possible defenses.
The Defendant’s Arrest and Trial
Reportedly, the police stopped the defendant in response to a call regarding an erratic driver. When they spoke with the defendant, they noted his pupils were constricted, and his speech was slurred and slow. One of the officers observed needle marks and bruises on the defendant’s arm and a plastic bag similar to the ones typically used for heroin in the defendant’s car as well.
Allegedly, due to the suspicion that the defendant was under the influence of drugs, the police conducted a thirteen-part drug influence evaluation (DIE). The defendant performed poorly on the DIE, and based on his results and behavior, he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. The defendant was found guilty as charged following a trial in the law division, after which he appealed, arguing that the DIE evidence should not have been admitted because the State failed to demonstrate that such evidence was reliable or generally accepted. Continue reading