Articles Posted in Drug DWI

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

In some cases in which a defendant is charged with a DWI crime, it makes sense to enter a guilty plea. A defendant must weigh the evidence possessed by the State and the potential penalties he or she may face prior to making the decision to admit to guilt, though, as in many cases, the decision cannot be reversed. This was illustrated in a recent New Jersey opinion in which the court assessed a defendant’s petition for post-conviction relief in a DWI case, arising out of the trial court’s refusal to allow him to reverse his guilty plea to a drug DWI offense. If you are charged with driving while intoxicated, it is advisable to speak to a dedicated New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss your rights.

The Defendant’s Trial

It is alleged that the defendant was driving his car when it slid off the road. The police responded to the scene of the accident, after which the defendant admitted to drinking liquid PCP prior to operating the vehicle. He was charged with a DWI crime, which was his second DWI offense, and other crimes. At his plea hearing, the defendant clearly acknowledged that pleading guilty as charged could result in the loss of his license for up to two years and monetary fines.

It is reported that the defendant nonetheless entered a guilty plea. At his sentencing hearing, however, he informally sought to withdraw his plea, stating that a two-year license suspension would be devastating. The court denied his request and imposed monetary penalties and a two-year license suspension on the defendant. He then filed a motion for post-conviction relief. The court denied his motion without a hearing, and he appealed. Continue reading

Although many people think of DWI arrests as arising out of the operation of a vehicle while intoxicated due to the consumption of alcohol, a person can be charged with a DWI for driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence of other substances that impairs his or her ability to drive safely, such as marijuana. Recently, an appellate court in New Jersey discussed what is considered adequate evidence to convict a defendant of a marijuana-related DWI offense. If you live in New Jersey and are charged with a marijuana-related DWI, it is advisable to consult a New Jersey DWI defense attorney dedicated to helping DWI defendants protect their interests.

Factual Background

It is reported that the defendant was stopped after an officer observed him drifting over the double yellow line on a highway. When the officer approached the vehicle, he reportedly smelled both raw and burnt marijuana. The defendant’s speech was slow and slurred, and he reported that he was swerving because he was trying to avoid potholes. The defendant denied smoking marijuana and stated that someone else had driven his vehicle. The officer administered field sobriety tests, which the defendant failed. The officer then searched the defendant’s vehicle and found a bag of marijuana, an e-cigarette with a marijuana concentrate cartridge, and two marijuana cigars. The defendant was arrested and charged with DWI and other related offenses. He was convicted, after which he appealed, arguing the evidence was insufficient to convict him of DWI.

Evidence Sufficient to Convict, a Defendant of a Marijuana-Related DWI Offense

On appeal, the defendant argued, in part, that the trial court erred in allowing the arresting officer to testify as an expert witness, violating his due process rights. The appellate court disagreed, finding that the State did not introduce the officer as an expert witness at trial, but that during the appeal to the Law Division it argued that the officer should be regarded as an expert due to the extent of his skills, training, and experience, and the Law Division agreed. The court noted that under New Jersey law, police officers can be qualified as experts on marijuana intoxication, due to their training. Thus, the court found that no reversible error occurred. Continue reading

Being arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) is an extremely serious matter that needs to be handled with the utmost care. Not only are these charges difficult to deal with from a legal standpoint, they can also adversely affect your future and your employment. If you have been charged with impaired driving, our New Jersey DWI attorneys can help you figure out your next steps. With extensive experience in this field of law, you can trust that we will not lead you astray.

According to a survey conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA), the public routinely underestimates the dangers of driving while high. Of the 2,582 drivers surveyed, about 13.5 percent of U.S. drivers stated they thought that driving within one hour of consuming marijuana was only “slightly dangerous” or “not dangerous at all.” In comparison, only 1.2 percent of individuals surveyed said that driving while intoxicated by alcohol was “slightly dangerous” or ‘not dangerous at all.”

Even though a higher rate of people believe that driving while high is relatively safe, drunk driving is still considered to be much more common and may be more dangerous. Data from AAA reveals that 14.8 million drivers across the country drove soon after using marijuana in the past 30 days, compared to 33 million Americans who drove within two hours of drinking in the last month. While it is clear that driving while high is unsafe, the extent to which it is unsafe is still unclear. The effects of alcohol, on the other hand, have been well documented.

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Being arrested for driving while high is not something you should take lightly. You could face a suspended license, hefty fines and maybe even jail time. If you have been charged with a DWI, it is in your best interest to retain the services of an experienced New Jersey DWI attorney. With years of experience, we understand how to effectively fight for your rights both in the context of a settlement negotiation and in the courtroom.

According to a new study by the AAA, almost 70 percent of Americans believe it is unlikely that a driver will get caught for getting behind the wheel while high on marijuana. In addition, the researchers noted that approximately 14.8 million drivers in the last month, nationwide, reported having driven within one hour of smoking, injecting or covering themselves with a marijuana product. This is alarming because it can take between one and four hours after using marijuana to feel its impairing effects. Data also shows that an increased number of Americans approve of driving after using marijuana (7 percent) as compared to driving under the influence of alcohol (1.6 percent). Young drivers tend to be the most pro-pot, with 14 percent admitting to operating a motor vehicle an hour after using.

Perhaps the prevalence of driving while high doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering marijuana is now legal several states and may very well be legal in New Jersey in the near future. In New Jersey, it is currently against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When it comes to impairment caused by alcohol, a person will be charged with a DWI if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher.

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Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense and a conviction can have serious negative effects on an individual’s life. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, it is critical that your rights are protected. Our experienced New Jersey DWI attorneys will examine the facts of your case and prepare a vigorous defense in your legal matter. We understand that it seems like the laws are stacked against you, but we know how to find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case that can be used to your advantage.

A new study indicates that riding with an impaired driver is common among young adults. In fact, 33 percent of those who graduated from high school recently admitted to riding in a vehicle with a substance-impaired driver at least once in the last year. The research was conducted using reports from the National Institute of Child and Human Development’s NEXT Generation Health Study, which examined data from a study that spanned seven years and included information on more than 2,700 US adolescents beginning at grade 10.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, also found that young adults are more likely to ride with a driver who is impaired by marijuana (23 percent) than a driver who is impaired by alcohol (20 percent). In addition, about 6 percent of young adults had gotten into an automobile with a driver impaired by harder, illicit drugs (i.e., cocaine). Researchers point out that those who have gotten into a vehicle with an intoxicated driver in the past are more likely to drive under the influence themselves and have a greater likelihood of riding with an intoxicated driver in the future.

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If you are facing driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in New Jersey, you are at risk of losing your driver’s license, paying hefty fines and even going to jail. The stakes are too high and a DWI conviction can negatively impact virtually every aspect of your life. If you or someone close to you has been charged with a DWI, you need to consult our aggressive and knowledgeable New Jersey DWI attorneys as soon as possible.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with other organizations, recently announced a national campaign to raise awareness about marijuana-impaired driving. The campaign’s motto, “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different,” hopes to encourage drivers to recognize that they should not drive under the influence of marijuana. NHTSA’s newest national roadside evaluation highlights that from the years of 2007-2013, there was an almost 50 percent spike in weekend nighttime drivers who tested positive for some type of marijuana. Part of the campaign’s purpose is to emphasize that while it may be legal to use marijuana in your state, it is still illegal to get behind the wheel under the influence of the drug.

In New Jersey, it is against the law to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of any drug that hinders your ability to drive in a safe manner. In fact, you can still be charged with a drug DWI even if you had a valid prescription so long as the prosecutor can show that the drug impaired your ability to operate a motor vehicle. This law does not specify a certain amount of drugs that must be in your system and, unlike alcohol content, which can easily be measured by a breath test, there is no standard test to figure out if you are under the influence of drugs. Rather, you can be charged with a drug DWI if you seem impaired by drugs to the arresting officer.
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If you have been arrested for or charged with drugged driving, you need to contact a reputable and diligent New Jersey DWI attorney immediately. Not only do these charges have the potential to ruin your reputation,  a conviction could jeopardize your current and future educational, housing and employment opportunities. Understanding how high the stakes are, we will aggressively advocate for you every step of the way.

Unless you or someone close to you has struggled with opioid addiction, it can be easy to overlook the seriousness of the problem. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that drivers using prescribed opioids are 2.18 times more likely to be in fatal two-vehicle crashes than those who are not using the drugs. The study examined 18,321 driver pairs who lost their lives in two-vehicle crashes between 1993 and 2016. The findings revealed that 54.7 percent of the drivers who died tested positive for prescription opioids and these drivers caused the crash because they veered out of their lane. Sadly, crash initiators with prescription opioids in their system have increased from 2 percent in 1993 to 7.1 percent in 2016. Research shows that opioids can seriously impair a driver’s ability to drive safely causing them to feel woozy, sleepy or even sedated.

Under New Jersey law, a person can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs if the prosecutor can establish that the person was impaired while operating a motor vehicle. This is true even if the drug was an over-the-counter or prescription drug. In other words, you can be charged with a DWI so long as the prosecutor can show that the drug impaired your ability to drive safely.
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Whether you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious criminal offense with the potential for severe penalties in New Jersey. If you have been arrested for a drug-related DWI, you need to contact a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney immediately. Our team has years of experiencing defending the rights of those charged with DWIs. We will examine every facet of your case to build the strongest defense on your behalf.

Statistics from the New Jersey Police highlights that in 2016, New Jersey police arrested 23,579 people suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The figures were not categorized by whether the driver was suspected of being intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, or both. A report by AAA Northeast last year indicated that 19 percent of drivers who died in car wrecks in New Jersey in 2016 tested positive for marijuana although those tests did not indicate if the driver was impaired at the time of the crash.

Currently, there is no dependable way to assess impairment caused by marijuana. The legalization bill in the state also does not outline a legal standard by which to measure impairment; rather, it relied on existing practices for judging whether drivers might be intoxicated. According to the National Institutes of Health, the best indication of driver impairment is observation by trained drug recognition experts (DRWs) in the field, not a blood test.

It is obvious that you should not drink and drive. However, when it comes to medical marijuana, people often use the drug and get behind the wheel a short while later not realizing this behavior can also lead to a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge. If you or a family member is facing DWI prosecution, our trusted New Jersey DWI attorneys can help. With extensive experience in criminal defense law, we understand how to vigorously defend your rights and make sure you obtain all the protections afforded by New Jersey law.

The Survey

Researchers at the University of Michigan Addiction Center recently surveyed 790 Michigan adults who used medical marijuana for chronic pain in 2014 and 2015 about their driving habits over the last six months. According to the report, 56 percent admitted to driving within two hours of using marijuana, 51 percent reported to driving while a “little high” and 21 percent stated that they drove “very high.” Since medical marijuana is legal in almost three-dozen states – this can have serious implications for individuals on the road.

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