Instead of a dry, boring article, the following is an excerpt from a recent interview with Attorney Leckerman on the subject.
Interviewer: Ok, let’s switch gears and talk about New Jersey drug DWI law. Prescription, illegal, and over the counter drugs. Is it true that New Jersey has a zero tolerance policy for drugs?
Kevin Leckerman: No, that’s not true. In other states you can be found guilty of a DUI simply for having a specific amount of drug in your system, even though you may not be under the influence of it. In New Jersey, the law requires that the prosecution prove that you’re under the influence of the drug. Now, the prosecution doesn’t have to show that you’re actually under the influence of cocaine or marijuana, or LSD, or a prescription drug specifically. The only thing that the state has to do is actually show that you’re under the influence of some drug.
Interviewer: So how does law enforcement go about showing that you’re under the influence of one or more drugs?
Kevin Leckerman: New Jersey is a breath testing state. There is absolutely no obligation for a driver to give anything more than a breath sample when arrested for a suspected DWI. If a police officer requests a blood sample or a urine sample, the driver really has the ability to say no and refuse, and not be charge with the refusal or face enhanced penalties. However, if the driver agrees to give a sample, usually the sample is a blood sample, when there’s an accident and the person is taken directly to a hospital. If there is no accident and a drug recognition expert comes into play, then the drug recognition expert, or DRE, will be asking for a urine sample.