The offense of driving under the influence of drugs, even marijuana, falls within the DWI law – N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. In this regard, the statute makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle when “intoxicated” by a drug, including a narcotic or hashish derivative (e.g. weed). If you have been charged with DUI in Holmdel Township, you should know that the proofs necessary to convict you are different than what would be required in an alcohol based case.
In a DWI case, the prosecutor must present probable cause for the arrest and this usually hinges on Field Sobriety Testing. In a drug case under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, there must be an evaluation by a Drug Recognition Expert (“DRE”). The DRE has in depth training in the recognition of drug impairment. This training is a long process and very few police officers in New Jersey, let alone the Holmdel Police Department, possess this training and a DRE certification. The municipality does also have one of the larger State Police Trooper barracks in the state which can be utilized for a DRE, although this rarely occurs.
A DRE must conduct a series of very specific tests that are intended to determine whether someone is impaired by drugs and, in addition, the category of drug involved. The resulting report is termed a drug recognition evaluation. This report must be presented at the time of trial in a DUI case in Holmdel or elsewhere in New Jersey, or there is no ability for the prosecutor to satisfy the elements of his or her case. The only exception to this rule involves clear cut marijuana cases. The thought of the court being that marijuana is so come in our community that specialized training is not required to detect and/or determine impairment.
You should know that our defense staff, including Thomas Campo, the former prosecutor in Holmdel, has a high percentage of success in DUI cases. Give us a call anytime for immediate assistance with your Holmdel DUI.