There is little doubt that the United States is facing a crisis involving opioid abuse and addiction. As a result, police and prosecutors have seen a rise in DWI cases involving various types of painkillers. If you or someone close to you has been arrested for a drug DWI, it is imperative to reach out to a skilled New Jersey drug DWI attorney without delay. With years of experience, we have the knowledge base needed to defend you throughout the entire legal process.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the opioid epidemic killed more than 33,000 people across the United States in 2015. That is an average of 91 opioid overdose deaths every day. Overdose deaths were nearly equal to the number of deaths from car accidents. In 2015, for the first time, deaths from heroin alone surpassed gun homicides. In New Jersey, at least 1,901 people died from opioid overdose in 2016. A study conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that prescription opioid pain killers led to impaired driving in many patients, creating a risk on the nation’s roads.
Due to the prevalence of opioid abuse, this issue is undoubtedly on law enforcement’s radar. New Jersey law makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by either alcohol or drugs or both. Put simply, it is illegal to drive under the influence of any impairing substance, whether it is illegal, over the counter, or prescription. This law is codified in New Jersey Statute 39:4-50, which prohibits persons from operating a motor vehicle under the influence of “any narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug.” Use of any or all of these medications can form the basis of a drugged driving charge in New Jersey.