Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) in New Jersey

Under New Jersey statute, it is illegal to drive or operate a motor vehicle if you are under the influence of “a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug.” Unlike the DUI laws, the statute does not set forth any standard for establishing that you were under the influence of drugs, allowing prosecutors to argue on a case-by-case basis that the drugs in your system impaired your ability to drive. Accordingly, you could be convicted for having just a trace of a prohibited substance in your bloodstream.

New Jersey uses the list established by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to determine what constitutes a “narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug.” It’s important to understand, though, that having a valid prescription for the drug is not a defense to driving while under the influence of drugs. If you have a medical condition that necessitates the use of a banned substance, you must either show that it did not affect your driving, or you must let someone else drive.

When you are suspected of drinking and driving, an implied consent rule applies. This means that, by being behind the wheel, you have given your implied consent to submit to a blood alcohol test, and can face charges if you refuse to take a breathalyzer. There is no such law with respect to DUID, but there is a separate whereby anyone who declines to take a chemical test for driving under the influence of drugs can be fined as much as $500.

If prosecuted for DUID, you will be subject to the same penalties as if you had been charged with DUI. Furthermore, if convicted, the conviction will count as a prior offense if you have any subsequent DUI charges.

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