Newark, NJ-While the majority of DWI arrests in New Jersey involve motorists who are under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs, like marijuana, it is possible for a motorist to be charged with a DWI due to consumption of prescription drugs, as well. Simply having a prescription for a drug doesn’t exclude a person from being prosecuted under the state’s DWI laws.
New Jersey DWI Legislation Requires Ignition Interlock Devices for First DWI Offenders
Newark, NJ- A newly approved law, which landed on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s desk last week, will change the way convicted DWI offenders are treated in the state, offering reduced license suspension requirements for some offenders while increasing penalties for others.
Jersey City DWI Defense
Jersey City, NJ- If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DWI in New Jersey you are likely aware of the tough road ahead of you. New Jersey has strict DWI laws with serious penalties, including jail time, license suspension, and costly fines. The legal ramifications are just one facet of a DWI charge; it can affect your job, your personal life and your future. Don’t take this charge lightly, and hire a New Jersey DWI attorney to work on your defense.
Marijuana and Drugged Driving in New Jersey
Newark, NJ- Legal sales of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado began on January 1st, medical marijuana legislation is pending or approved in a handful of states (it’s already functional in New Jersey). The laws regarding marijuana are slowly becoming more permissive throughout the country, but it is still illegal to drive while intoxicated by marijuana, prescription drugs and other controlled substances even in states that permit medical or recreational marijuana use.
New Jersey statutes require law enforcement officers to prove that a driver’s ability to drive was “impaired” at the time of their traffic stop. When trying to determine if a driver is under the influence of drugs, police rely on the driver’s behavior and certain physical cues such as blood shot or glassy eyes. They will also ask you to submit to field sobriety tests and will call on specially trained officers to determine if you are impaired, or alternatively look at clinics for the likes of Health Street – 10 Panel Drug Test services or similar. If you live in Los Angeles and have been a victim in a car accident with someone who has been under the influence, then you may want to contact the best personal injury law firm in Los Angeles who can help you make a claim. Don’t worry though, there will be a law practice in your area who can help and support you too.
By obtaining a New Jersey driver’s license, any person who is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol must submit to a breathalyzer test or risk having their license revoked, this is referred to as “implied consent.” Unlike statutes for driving under the influence of alcohol, an individual does not have to give law enforcement officers a sample of their blood or urine for chemical testing if they are being are charged with driving while intoxicated by drugs, and will not face legal consequences for refusal.
Because New Jersey does not have an implied consent law drug testing, police rely on specially trained officers called Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) to determine if a suspected driver is impaired. DREs must be certified and if they determine you are intoxicated through a battery of tests; you can be arrested for driving while intoxicated. A person can also be charged with a DWI if they knowingly allow a person under the influence of drugs to drive their vehicle. Whilst you are allowed to take certain drugs in certain states, partaking of the products you can see more here whilst operating a vehicle is generally illegal.
In order to secure a DWI conviction, state prosecutors must prove impairment. To do this they must rely on the observations and testimony of Drug Recognition Experts and any results from chemical tests, like the Ehrlich test kit.
New Jersey case law has established that court testimony of intoxication must be presented by a Drug Recognition Expert or other expert. Testimony from a police officer and a chemical test report showing a driver had drugs in their system is not sufficient enough to prove intoxication. As a DWI defense attorney, I understand that it is essential to question the reliability of testimony presented by any officer including, and especially, DREs.
Marijuana, prescription drugs and other controlled substances can often be detected in a person’s blood or urine long after the intoxicating effects of the present drug have worn off and the driver is no longer intoxicated. For instance, a person can test positive for THC– the intoxicating compound in marijuana– can be detected in a person’s system days and weeks after the drug has worn off. As part of your defense, I will challenge any evidence of intoxication presented, and question if you were actually impaired at the time of your arrest.
The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs are the same as the penalties for drunken driving. For a first conviction the offender will be sentenced to driver’s license revocation for three months, fines between $300 and $500, the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and all recommended counseling at their expense. Other penalties include drastically increased insurance premiums, a $1,000 per year surcharge by the Motor Vehicle Commission, and a permanent conviction on the driving record. These are serious penalties so it is wise to have legal representation when faced with a DWI.
There are a number of aspects of a DWI arrest that as a DWI attorney I will aggressively explore in your defense. I will determine if the arresting officer had probable cause to pull you over, and if there was enough suspicion of intoxication to require a field sobriety testing. I can also challenge the reliability of field sobriety tests and observations of your intoxication.
A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs is a motor vehicle offense, but it is nonetheless a serious charge and will affect all aspects of the charged individual’s life. If you are facing DWI charges in Essex, Hudson, Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Union County, Middlesex or Somerset County, contact my office to schedule a consultation and discuss the possible defense strategies that may avoid conviction.
New Jersey Holiday DWI
Newark, NJ-The holidays are in full swing which means not only are there more drivers on the road, but there is a chance more of those drivers will be intoxicated. New Jersey law enforcement agencies know that during this time of year, people are tempted to have a drink or two and drive so each year they ratcheted up their efforts to catch drunken drivers and make certain holiday motorists are safe.
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is a national law enforcement initiative held days before and after major holidays. The campaign started in 1999 in the effort to reduce fatal drunk driving accidents and raise awareness about the dangers during the busiest travel times of the year.
In 2010, drunken driving accidents accounted for 20 percent of fatal accidents in New Jersey.
New Jersey’s annual holiday “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign has already begun and will continue until January 2nd. Law enforcement agencies will use $633,600 in federal funds to increase the number of officers patrolling the streets and to set up sobriety checkpoints.
“No one ever thinks their holiday celebration will end in jail or in a hospital,” Gary Poedubicky, New Jersey’s highway traffic safety chief told North Jersey.com. “So once again, police are targeting those drivers whose blood-alcohol concentration hits 0.08 percent or more.”
Few people realize who few drinks they must consume to be legally drunk. It can be hard resisting the urge to share a cocktail with your favorite Aunt or sharing a beer or two with your brother before getting behind the wheel. According to the American Automobile Association, the average man can reach the legal limit of 0.08 after consuming only four beers in an hour. It takes fewer drinks to push a woman’s blood alcohol concentration over the legal driving limit.
If you do make the mistake of driving while intoxicated and are charged with a DWI this holiday season you face the possibility of spending time in jail (anywhere from six months to a year), having your driver’s license suspended, you may be required to install and ignition interlock device into your vehicle, and will pay thousands of dollars in fines and penalties. The higher your blood alcohol concentration the more sever your penalties will be.
In addition to the penalties, a DWI conviction will remain in your record forever and your insurance premiums will rise steeply. A DWI can affect all areas of an individual’s life, but seek to prevent these consequences by building a strong defense on your behalf and/or negotiating for a reduced charge. I am devoted to making certain my client’s rights are respected providing them with the best DWI defense possible.
While the “Drive Sober” campaign is primarily focused on catching drunk drivers, law enforcement agencies also issue thousands of traffic violations. The last time New Jersey law enforcement conducted the Drive Sober campaign– over Labor Day weekend– they issue 89,000 summonses for violations which included speeding, seat belt infractions and driving with a suspended license. Police even managed to catch 1,781 fugitives.
Most of the time people don’t give traffic violations a second thought; they just pay their fine and move on. People often don’t realize that repeat traffic violations could result in increased insurance premiums and suspension of their driver’s license. If you are not a U.S. citizen, even traffic offenses can have consequences on your immigration status. It’s worth it to enlist my help to fight a traffic summons.
Challenging Breathalyzers for New Jersey
Newark, NJ- When you have been charged with a DWI in New Jersey, the strongest evidence the prosecution has against you is the result from a blood alcohol test, commonly referred to as breathalyzer. Even though law enforcement officers and prosecutors rely heavily on the results of these tests, the equipment and software can be flawed, and thereby give an offender sound basis to challenge the results and possibly avoid a DWI conviction.
A breathalyzer is a machine that records the concentration of alcohol on a person’s breath when the inhale into the machine. The results are then recorded and stored by the equipment’s software which can later be accessed by law enforcement, prosecutors and defense attorneys.
The specific breathalyzer used by the state of New Jersey for the past decade is the Alcotest. In spite of long-standing issues with the accompanying software and years of court challenges, the test is still being used to convict thousands of people for driving while intoxicated.
Attorneys representing DWI defendants challenged the reliability of the Alcotest in 2008, stating there were at least 9 software flaws which prevented accurate storage of test information. The test was also troublesome for women over 60 who often cannot produce the 1.5 litters of air to get an accurate reading.
The challenge was successful and the state’s high court ordered New Jersey officials to correct the flaws, but five years later none of those flaws have been corrected. The Alcotest was challenged again, but the New Jersey Supreme Court decided in September of this year to stand by the breath test.
In a 6-0 order, Justices decided the state could to continue using the Alcotest even though the software flaws had not been corrected, stating the changes were not necessary and the test remains “scientifically reliable.” Justice Helen Hoens wrote in the court’s decision that the state attempted to make the necessary changes to the Alcotest, but due to “unanticipated but unavoidable” technical difficulties the state’s ability to comply with their earlier ruling had been hindered.
New Jersey Defense attorneys argue the software problems make it difficult to access the information in the Alcotest database. Having access to the test’s databases is critical in gathering the evidence necessary for a strong DWI defense.
There are other factors that can call into question the reliability of a breathalyzer. Medical problems such as diabetes can give inaccurate readings. Other factors like exposure to certain chemicals, the skills of the tester and even atmospheric changes can give false results. I know the many ways in which a breathalyzer can be challenged and understand what challenges are appropriate in your case.
Because a DWI in New Jersey has consequences, including suspension of our license, a possible jail sentence and thousands of dollars in associated fines and costs, it is important to contact me at my Newark office.
When your freedom hangs in the balance, it is important to have a person who will staunchly protect your rights. Your rights are of greatest importance to me and I will carefully analyze the evidence collected against you to decide which defense will give you a better chance of preventing a conviction. After a consultation, I can determine which grounds you have to challenge your DWI charge and begin working on your case.