Driving while high, just like driving while alcohol-impaired, is against the law. Call a skilled attorney if you are facing charges.
Driving after drinking is a serious offense in New Jersey and is one that can be penalized harshly with jail time, a large fine, a license suspension, and more. What many people fail to realize, though, is that it is not just drinking while driving that can result in criminal penalties but driving while impaired. This means that if you are high on drugs, or impaired by any substance, you are not legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle. Here is what you need to know about getting a DUI for driving high in New Jersey.
New Jersey Driving While Intoxicated Law
The law related to driving after using any type of impairing substance is clear in New Jersey. Per the statute, “a person who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug…” is guilty of driving while intoxicated. Note that this does not just refer to alcohol or illegal drugs; a person could potentially be convicted of driving under the influence for the use of a prescription drug, too.
What You Need to Know About Driving While High
While alcohol will leave your system within a matter of hours, some drugs, such as marijuana, may remain within your body and show up on a blood or urine test as such for a matter of days or weeks. While driving while high from marijuana is definitely against the law, one defense that you may have to a driving while high charge is that you were a) not high and b) any marijuana in your blood was a result of prior use, not use directly before driving.
Other defenses to charges of driving while high that may be relevant in your case include a claim that you did not know that the drugs would be impairing (i.e. you legally took a prescription drug and were not informed of side effects), that evidence against you was illegally obtained and therefore cannot be submitted in court), or that you were in fact not high.
It is also important that you understand your rights, such as your right to refuse consent if police ask to search your vehicle. You also have the right to refuse to submit to a drug test if asked to do so; however, refusal to submit to testing can result in an automatic license suspension and a fine, as a refusal is a violation of the state’s implied consent laws.
Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help
If you have been charged with a driving while intoxicated offense in New Jersey, whether the offense is based on alleged drug or alcohol use, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney who has experience handling cases like yours. At the offices of Lomurro Law, our criminal defense attorneys can help. To schedule a consultation with our team, please call us directly or send us a message requesting more information. We encourage you to call as soon as possible after your arrest for best results.