Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is often associated with alcohol, but you can also face DWI charges for operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. If you are charged with this offense, it’s important to understand how it is prosecuted in the state of New Jersey.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs: Proving the CaseWhen it comes to being under the influence of drugs, the state will depend on urine or blood testing at a forensic laboratory to prove its case. However, New Jersey forensic laboratories do not test for the amount of drugs in the system, only its presence. This means these tests cannot determine if a person is under the influence of drugs, which makes proving drug DUI cases far more difficult. Steven Hernandez has received advanced training in DUI Drug defense, including the DRE overview course and Forensic DUI Drug Analysis. In addition, in some cases Steven Hernandez will hire expert witnesses to poke holes in the prosecution’s case and defend you against these charges.
The Role Of A Drug Recognition Officer in DWI Drug Cases
Law enforcement officers rely on drug influence examination (DIE) conducted by a Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) to evaluate drivers that are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs. The DRE will follow a 12-step process to determine if a driver is under the influence of drugs. These steps include:
- The DRE conducts a breath test to rule out alcohol intoxication.
- The DRE interviews the police officer.
- The DRE interviews the DWI suspect.
- The DWI suspect’s eyes are examined for signs of intoxication.
- The DRE conducts several field sobriety tests to look for signs of intoxication.
- The DWI suspect’s vital signs are recorded.
- The DWI suspect’s pupils are examined when exposed to different levels of light.
- The DRE examines the suspect’s body to look for rigid muscles or other signs of intoxication.
- The DRE searches the suspect’s body for possible injection sites.
- The DWI suspect is interviewed for a second time.
- Based on the first 10 steps, the DRE will reach a conclusion about the suspect’s intoxication.
- The DWI suspect completes toxicology tests.
The results of this evaluation—and the way it is conducted—must be closely analyzed by a criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney can identify flaws in the DRE’s process, logic, or interpretation of the results that could weaken the prosecution’s case.
Illegal Drugs and DWI Charges
Law enforcement officers can arrest you if they suspect you are under the influence of an illegal drug such as:
- Synthetic marijuana
This is not an all-inclusive list of illegal drugs that could result in DWI charges. The use of many other substances can also lead to DWI charges if they affect your ability to operate a vehicle.
Prescription Medication and DWI Charges
Some people assume that you can only face DWI charges if you are under the influence of an illegal drug, but that’s not the case. You can face DWI charges if you are under the influence of a legally prescribed medication at the time of your arrest. In fact, you can face charges for being under the influence of over-the-counter medication as well. The type of drug does not matter—all that matters is that it has impaired you to the point where you are no longer capable of safely operating a vehicle. If you’re found guilty, he is what you could be facing:
Schedule A Free Consultation With Our Expert DUI Drug Attorneys
Have you been arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs? If so, seek legal representation from skilled criminal defense attorney Steven Hernandez at once. To schedule a free consultation, call 732-286-2700 or submit your information using the contact form on this website.