Sparta DUI Defense Lawyers
Sussex and Warren County DUI Defense Attorneys
People often use the terms “DWI” and “DUI” interchangeably but, believe it or not, they are two distinct offenses in New Jersey. Under New Jersey’s motor vehicle laws, Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”) focuses on driving after having had alcoholic beverages or “drunk driving.” On the other hand, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (“DUI”) relates to any time a driver has taken any controlled dangerous substance, prescription pill, or medication that impairs the ability to drive. Thus, in general, DWIs and DUIs have the same underlying theme: that a person either drank alcohol or ingested drugs and then got behind the wheel of a vehicle while their ability to drive was impaired. The key difference between a DWI and DUI is that with a DWI the police will administer a breathalyzer or Alcotest to measure the driver’s blood alcohol content, but DUI charges typically rely on the evaluation of a Drug Recognition Expert (“DRE”) who conducts an extensive in-person evaluation with the driver to assess whether or not the driver is under the influence of any mind-altering substances. If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI in Andover, Hackettstown, Phillipsburg, or Byram, New Jersey, the DUI defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm are always available to explain the potential consequences and how to effectively defend your case. Contact our offices anytime for a free initial consultation at 973-755-1695
Driving under the Influence of Drugs – DUI Charges in New Jersey
For a first offense, New Jersey’s DUI law is set forth in R.S. 39:4-50(ii) which states that if the person’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.10% or higher, or the person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or the person permits another person who is under the influence of narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drugs to operate a motor vehicle owned by him or in his custody or control, or permits another person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10% or more to operate a motor vehicle, then that person is subject to a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $500 and a period of detainment of not less than 12 hours nor more than 48 hours spent during two consecutive days of not less than six hours each day and served as prescribed by the program requirements of the Intoxicated Driver Resource Centers established by law and, in the discretion of the court, a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days and shall forthwith forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of New Jersey for a period of not less than seven months nor more than one year.
As used in the New Jersey DUI law, the phrase “narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug” includes any inhalant or other substance containing a chemical capable of releasing any toxic vapors or fumes for the purpose of inducing a condition of intoxication, such as any glue, cement or any other substance containing one or more of the following chemical compounds: acetone and acetate, amyl nitrite or amyl nitrate or their isomers, benzene, butyl alcohol, butyl nitrite, butyl nitrate or their isomers, ethyl acetate, ethyl alcohol, ethyl nitrite or ethyl nitrate, ethylene dichloride, isobutyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, methyl ethyl ketone, nitrous oxide, n-propyl alcohol, pentachlorophenol, petroleum ether, propyl nitrite or propyl nitrate or their isomers, toluene, toluol or xylene or any other chemical substance capable of causing a condition of intoxication, inebriation, excitement, stupefaction or the dulling of the brain or nervous system as a result of the inhalation of the fumes or vapors of such chemical substance.
Drug Recognition Experts in DUI Prosecutions NJ
When it comes to proving that a driver is under the influence of a drug, most cases require that a Drug Recognition Expert (“DRE”) conduct an evaluation immediately after the arrest, with the exception being for marijuana. In other words, according to New Jersey Law, any police officer who conducts a motor vehicle stop is able to determine whether or not a driver is under the influence of marijuana based upon the officer’s experience and layman’s observations. However, if a driver is suspected of being under the influence of any other drug such as cocaine, heroin, or prescription pills, a DRE must conduct physical and medical tests to determine if the driver is under the influence. In addition, a urine sample is usually taken to be sent to the NJ state police lab for testing and determine what kind of drugs are in the driver’s system.
DUI Defense Lawyers in Sussex County, NJ
The bottom line is that DUI cases are complex and you should consult with the experienced DUI defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm if you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Sussex or Warren County. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge at 973-755-1695.