Most New Jersey Police Officers are not trained to Identify Drug Impairment, Article Says

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.

In New Jersey, there is concern that some police departments do not have any DREs. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, however, plans to address this issue. He said last year that the state was working to train at least 80 more police officers as DREs, honing in on departments that do not have any in anticipation of marijuana legalization.

Drug DWIS in New Jersey 

As outlined in New Jersey Statute 39:4-50, individuals are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle under the influence of “any narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug.” This includes marijuana and also any other drug that would hinder a person’s ability to drive in a reasonably safe manner. Drivers who are convicted of a drug-related DWI may face a variety of penalties such as a suspension or a revocation of their drivers’ license, hefty monetary fines and possible jail time. It is important to note that the penalties will vary depending on whether or not the charged person has been convicted for a DWI before.

Defending a Drug DWI

When defending our clients, we leave no stone unturned. We will thoroughly examine the circumstances of your stop and arrest. We understand all relevant New Jersey DWI laws and understand how they could apply to your case. For example, if the police officer pulled you over without a valid reason, it may have been a violation of your constitutional rights. Under the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine, if the stop is illegal to begin with, anything that happens subsequently, including a drug DWI arrest would also be illegal. There are many other defenses like this that could be at play in your case. 

Hiring a Skilled New Jersey DWI Attorney

If you have been charged with a drug DWI in New Jersey, you need to contact one of our seasoned New Jersey DWI attorneys as soon as possible. With extensive experience in this area of law, we are committed to defending your rights throughout the entire legal process. Call us at 877-450.8301 or contact us online today.

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