Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) is considered a Motor Vehicle violation in the State of New Jersey and is prosecuted in much the same way as drunk driving. The DUID law in NJ applies to anyone who operates a vehicle while under the influence of a “narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug.”
Skilled Defense Attorney by Your Side
Driving under the influence of drugs is an extremely serious offense that carries severe consequences, so it's critical to have a skilled New Jersey DUI attorney fighting for your rights by your side. Carmine R. Villani, Esq., founding partner of Villani & DeLuca, P.C., is a former Municipal Prosecutor and has experience in both the prosecution and defense of DWI, DUID and refusal charges in New Jersey. When you need a DUID lawyer in Monmouth or Ocean County, New Jersey, you can't afford to waste time before seeking representation to defend yourself and your rights in court; your choice of legal counsel is important and can mean the difference between a DUID conviction and a dismissal.
DUID cases can be fought and won. Similar to drunken driving cases, driving under the influence of drugs cases are prosecuted with circumstantial evidence. The prosecutor may try to introduce evidence of the driver's field sobriety tests, driving patterns and appearance. Blood or urine tests are typically administered with New Jersey DUID cases. Though, urine testing can be unreliable in DUID cases because different drugs take varying amounts of time to be eliminated by the body. For example, marijuana can remain in a driver's system for a few days, but many stimulants are eliminated in just a few hours. Therefore, a driver who smoked marijuana on a Friday would still show the presence of the drug on a Monday, long after the drug's effects have worn off. Many other conditions can be mistaken for drug intoxication, including fatigue, illness or injury. Consult with an experienced NJ DUI lawyer for advice on your specific case.
Implied Consent Does Not Apply
But it's important to note that the fundamental difference between alcohol and drug laws with regards to driving relates to a rule called implied consent. New Jersey is one of the few states (along with Massachusetts and West Virginia) that do not extend its implied consent law beyond alcohol to allow for chemical testing for drugs; therefore, there are no provisions for collecting a specimen. In New Jersey, a person gives consent to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine to test for alcohol simply by driving on New Jersey roads. This is called the doctrine of implied consent. However, the law of implied consent does not require someone suspected of drugged driving to submit to a chemical test to screen for narcotics. That means New Jersey drivers are well within their rights to refuse such a test for drugs and they cannot be penalized for their refusal.
Know the New Jersey Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Laws N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a)
Since many narcotics are illegal to possess, it does not matter how much someone has ingested for him or her to be considered under the influence.
(a) A person who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of…[a] narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug…or permits another person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug to operate a motor vehicle owned by him or in his custody or control…shall be subject….
Type of Drugs Prohibited: Any narcotic, hallucinogenic, CDS (controlled dangerous substance) or any other habit-producing drug.
Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs
Did you know you can be charged with a DUI for drugs for taking certain medications, even if they are taken with a valid prescription? You can be found guilty of driving under the influence of drugs and sentenced to jail time and a lengthy license suspension.
Unfortunately, NJ DUID charges for prescription drugs are becoming more and more common. Many over-the-counter medications can cause drowsiness such as antidepressants, allergy medications, sleeping pills, cough syrups and painkillers. If you are pulled over for suspicion of a driving under the influence of prescription drugs violation in New Jersey, law enforcement won't care that you were only drowsy because you had to take an over-the-counter medication (that's why these medications often include warning labels advising not to drive or operate heavy machinery, which include your car, truck or motorcycle). This means that you will probably be charged with a DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) and could face the same charges as a person who was driving under the influence of heroin.
Penalties for DUID in NJ
Being convicted of a DUID in NJ is a serious offense, carrying heavy penalties. For a first conviction, offenders are fined an amount not less than $300 nor more than $500, can be put in jail for up to 30 days, have 7 to 12 months of license suspension, and be required to visit an IDRC program for 12 to 48 hours. If a person is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs for second violation, these penalties increase to a $500 to $1,000 fine and jail time not less than 48 hours, but no more than 90 days. A third or subsequent violation would result in serving no less than 180 days in a county jail and paying $1000 in fines. Second and third offenses will also have increased license loss ranges, as well as mandatory installment of an interlock device.
You could be arrested for a DUID even if you are not driving. If you let another person drive your car and you know that that person is under the influence of drugs, then New Jersey law says that you, too, can be convicted of a DUID.
Contact an Experienced NJ DWI Law Firm for Help
A driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) conviction carries serious penalties in New Jersey. If you are arrested for DUID, remember to contact your criminal defense attorney at Villani & DeLuca as soon as possible; with our professional help, you may even be able to have the charges reduced or dismissed altogether. A New Jersey driving under the influence of drugs lawyer or DUID attorney at Villani & DeLuca can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (732) 709-7757. Call today for a free consultation on how to protect your rights.