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.
Unlike a breathalyzer test for alcohol, there is no equally quick and efficient way to test for marijuana in the system. Thus, the best indication of driver impairment is an evaluation by a drug recognition expert (DRE) who will assess the driver’s physical coordination and ability to drive. A DRE will also ask for a urine sample, but since THC is slow to metabolize, it can remain in a person’s system for weeks and so a urine test is not dispositive of driving under the influence of marijuana. It is important to note that a DRE is not required to prove in court that a person was driving under the influence of marijuana. Rather, police officers are allowed to provide testimony pertaining to whether or not a defendant was under the influence of the drug. In short, you can be convicted without a DRE’s testimony.
In every New Jersey DWI case, the prosecution bears the burden of proving every element of the crime ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ You can rest assured that we will thoroughly examine every detail of your case, and poke as many holes as we can in the prosecution’s case to get you the best possible outcome.
If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana or any other drug, it is important to contact our qualified New Jersey drug DWI attorneys. The penalties associated with this offense are severe and can negatively impact virtually every aspect of your life. We understand the nuances of New Jersey DWI laws and can prepare an aggressive defense on your behalf. You can rest assured that we are committed to protecting your rights. For a free consultation, please call us at 877-450-8301 or contact us online today.