Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in New Jersey

blue pillsDriving under the influence of drugs, legal or illegal, can be a serious offense in New Jersey. If you or someone close to you has been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), it is important to reach out to an experienced New Jersey DUID attorney who can help you understand your rights. A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs can have serious and far-reaching consequences for your life. Don’t let this type of charge stain your clean record.

Under New Jersey Statute 39:4-50, drugged driving laws prohibit “any narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug.” Illegal drugs, over-the-counter medication, and prescription medication can all form a basis for a New Jersey drugged driving charge, since all of these have the potential to impair an individual’s ability to drive, just as alcohol does. If you have a medical condition that necessitates the use of a banned substance, you must establish that it did not impair your ability to drive, or you must not drive.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), drugged driving can have the same effects as drunk driving, putting others on the road at risk. According to one NIDA report, a nationwide study of deadly motor vehicle crashes found that almost 50 percent of the drivers who had tested positive for drugs had consumed a prescription drug, such as a painkiller or anxiety medication. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration reports that in a recent survey, nearly one in four drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect safety.

An individual arrested for drugged driving in New Jersey will be charged with driving under the influence and will face DUI penalties. The penalties for drugged driving vary, depending on whether or not the charged person has been convicted before. It is also important to note that a conviction for drugged driving is considered a prior offense when it comes to any subsequent offenses related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The key difference between drunk driving and drugged driving laws is the application of the implied consent rule. Under New Jersey law, a person gives consent to provide a sample of breath, blood, or urine simply by driving in New Jersey. However, individuals suspected of drugged driving do not have to submit to a chemical test to screen for narcotics. This means a driver can refuse a test for drugs and cannot be penalized for that refusal.

You should be aware that it is not an acceptable defense to a drugged driving charge to claim that the driver is legally entitled to use the controlled substance. However, there may be other defenses that may be relevant to your case. We can determine an appropriate defense for you once we have a chance to review the circumstances of your arrest in detail.

Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) is a serious offense in New Jersey. Just because you have been charged with a DUID does not mean you are automatically guilty. If you have been charged with a DUID, it is imperative to reach out to a seasoned New Jersey DUID attorney who can advocate for your rights at every step of the way. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns. To discuss your case in more detail, feel free to call us at 877-450-8301 or contact us online.

More Blog Posts:

Urine Testing in New Jersey DWI Cases

Examining ‘Probable Cause’ in New Jersey DWI Stops