While some people may feel that being arrested for impaired driving only happens to those who drink and drive, DWI or more specifically, DUI, can also pertain to motorists stopped by police and found to be under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), such as cocaine or marijuana. drug DUI, which can also apply to individuals determined by the police to be impaired by prescription medication, is relatively common in the Garden State.
As New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyers, I and my colleagues understand how a causal user of marijuana could be charged with possession of marijuana, or weed, while driving their vehicle in Middlesex, Monmouth or Ocean County. Not surprisingly, the New Jersey legal system applies the same strict enforcement of DUIs as it does DWIs. While the substance may be different, a CDS instead of beer, wine or hard liquor, the penalties can be just as severe.
A news article not long ago illustrated what can happen when a driver is stopped by police and found to have been using an illicit drug while operating a motor vehicle. According to news reports, two people were arrested by police and charged with marijuana possession in Morris County apparently following a routine traffic stop.
Based on reports, police officers observed a vehicle traveling along a stretch of road in Kinnelon, NJ. The patrolmen stopped the vehicle in order to cite the driver for alleged equipment violations. During the traffic stop, officers detected the smell of burning cannabis coming from within the suspect’s vehicle. After the officers inquired as to the smell, on of the occupants — a woman from Kinnelon — apparently admitted to smoking a combination of hash and spice in vehicle just a short while before.
Further interrogation by the police revealed that the driver, a man from Newark, had allegedly smoked some weed in the vehicle the day before. Officers subsequently removed the couple from the vehicle, during which they found a small amount of marijuana on the floor of the car and also a small quantity in the woman’s purse, as well as rolling papers.
Both people were charged with marijuana possession in a vehicle, while the 26-year-old driver was also charged with driving while intoxicated, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a CDS in a vehicle, careless driving and driving with unsafe tires. The two were taken into custody and driven to police headquarters. They were then processed and subsequently released pending a future court appearance.
Two Charged With Possession After Marijuana Allegedly Found in Vehicle, Patch.com, March 31, 2011