One-third of Teens Have Ridden with an Impaired Driver, Study Finds

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.

In New Jersey, the basic offense of a DWI consists of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Drivers may also be charged and convicted of a DWI if they drive while impaired by drugs – whether the drugs are illegal, prescription or over-the-counter. In other words, anything that hinders your ability to drive safely can be the basis of a DWI charge.

The burden of proof in every DWI case is on the state to prove every element of the offense ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ – the highest evidentiary standard in the legal system. We will thoroughly examine the circumstances of your arrest and invoke any and all defenses that may apply. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Failure of the arresting officer to follow proper procedures and protocols at any point from the time you were pulled over to the actual arrest;
  • Failure of the arresting offer to offer or administer a chemical or blood test; and/or
  • Improper or questionable administration of a blood or chemical test.

In some cases, a driver may not be impaired at all. Police officers may have thought the driver was impaired when, in fact, he or she was simply suffering from an illness, allergies, sleep deprivation or something else that can easily be explained.

If you have been charged with a drug DWI, you need to consult a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney immediately. We understand how high the stakes are in these cases, which is why we will aggressively advocate for your rights every step of the way. For a free consultation regarding your case, please call us at 877-450-8301 or reach out to us online.