Thirteen Percent of U.S. Drivers Underestimate Dangers of Driving While High

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.

New Jersey law forbids individuals getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Specifically, under New Jersey Statute 39:4-50, drivers are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle under the influence of “any narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug.” It is important to note that this pertains to any drug that could impair a person’s ability to drive safely, including prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

The penalties for a drug DWI are essentially the same as a DWI based on alcohol impairment. The main difference between the two is the way in which law enforcement tests for intoxication. There is no standard test to measure for drugs in the way there is for alcohol through a breath test, which instantly measures a person’s blood alcohol concentration. Instead, if a police officer observes signs of drug use, you will be brought into the police station for a blood or urine test. There, a drug recognition expert will be called to examine your symptoms and make a determination about drug use. This evaluation is typically based on entirely visual inspection and can be prone to mistakes.

DWI charges can undoubtedly affect your ability to travel and earn a living. If you have been charged with a drug DWI, it is imperative to reach out to a diligent New Jersey DWI attorney as soon as possible. We have the knowledge and resources to tackle the special concerns and unique consequences that are at play in impaired driving cases. To get more information about your legal rights and options, please call us today at 877-450-8301 or contact us online.