New Jersey Drug-Related DWIs

Your firm has handled some illegal and prescription drug-related DWIs. Are you seeing a lot more of those in recent years, and are those cases typically easier or harder to defend than alcohol-related DWIs?

I have not seen an increase over the years, but I have seen a steady amount. They’re a little bit more complicated than liquor cases because now you’re dealing with the police officers either obtaining a urine or a blood sample. There are certain constitutional issues which come into play then as to whether or not the officers were supposed to get a warrant to draw your blood before they try to get the blood. The cases are further complicated by the fact that blood and urine are tested on gas chromatographs. Now we have issues like chain of custody to see if the blood that was tested was actually your blood and it wasn’t confused with somebody else’s blood in the laboratory, whether the chemist who tested it had the proper training, whether the laboratory had proper standard operating procedures to make sure that blood and urine samples are not contaminated, and so forth. There are many, many more issues in those cases.

In New Jersey, how is marijuana handled in terms of having metabolites in your system? Are there any laws right now on the books that address that?

In New Jersey, if you admit to smoking marijuana or if there is a metabolite of marijuana in your blood or urine, the police officer who arrested you is allowed to give an opinion as to whether or not he or she believed that you were under the influence of marijuana. It’s a different question with other drugs like cocaine, LSD, heroin, Percocet, and other pills as to whether or not the officer had proper training. In New Jersey, though, if an officer smells burnt marijuana and/or if you admit to smoking marijuana and it comes up in your blood or urine, you may be convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana.

For more information on drug-related DWI in New Jersey, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (856) 310-9800 today.

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