Prescription Drug Leading to DUI Charges in New Jersey

February 6, 2023

Even If You Take Prescription Or Over-The-Counter Medications, You Can Still Be Accused Of Driving Under The Influence in New Jersey

Prescription Drug Leading to DUI Charges in New JerseyThere are many reasons that a person may take prescription drugs, and most of them are positive for health and well-being. However, many controlled prescription drugs do not mix with driving or otherwise operating large vehicles and machinery. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of prescription drugs in New Jersey, you are still facing serious penalties under NJ law. Our team of DUI attorneys at Chamlin, Uliano, & Walsh  have decades of combined experience defending clients charged with prescription drug-related DUI offenses at the Jersey Shore, Contact us today at 732-440-3950, to discuss your particular matter and read on to learn more about prescription drug DUI’s in New Jersey.

Signs and Symptoms of Drivers Who May be Impaired by Drugs

Prescription drugs solve many important issues, but they may adversely affect a driver on New Jersey roadways, potentially creating a hazardous environment for the driver, other motorists, and pedestrians. Many prescription drugs can cause fatigue or drowsiness and dizziness, impair a driver’s depth perception, and even affect a driver’s capacity to make sound decisions while driving.

For prescription medicines and other alcoholic and pharmacological substances, New Jersey police officers look for some telltale signs of an impaired driver. These include speed fluctuations, including rapid acceleration and braking that are not caused by any external traffic conditions, swerving, dangerous proximity to other motorists, and traffic violations or ignoring of road signs.

DUI for Prescription Drug Intoxication and NJ Law

According to NJSA 39:4-50, a motorist breaks New Jersey law when they drive under the influence of a “narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug.” Though prescription drugs are legal, their side effects may render the person incapable of operating a motor vehicle. In such cases, prescription drug use that causes dangerous and illegal driving behavior could result in a DUI charge.

Commonly Prescribed Drugs That Still May Lead to DUI Charges

Some common prescription drugs may still cause DUI charges. Opioids such as painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin bring the body into a state of drowsiness and decreased reactivity, which can translate to danger on the road. Anxiety-reducing medications like Xanax also reduce responsivity, and prescriptions for insomnia such as Ambien obviously are very dangerous for drivers, as they may result in the driver losing consciousness while operating a vehicle.

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs in New Jersey

Drivers charged with a DUI involving prescription drugs may lose their New Jersey driving privileges for a period of seven months to one year for a first offense, in addition to potential jail time of up to 30 days, fines ranging from $300 to $500, attending courses for between 12 and 48 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC), and additional surcharges of $1,000 per year over the next 3 years. The penalties become more severe for second, third, and subsequent drug-related DUI offenses.

How Can a Person Contest a Prescription Drug DUI?

There are a myriad of defenses that a person charged with driving under the influence of prescription drugs may use to contest the charge. In order to prove intoxication by prescription drugs, a Drug Recognition Expert, or DRE, detects the type of drug involved and the level of impairment. Because such specific expertise is required to prove DUI by prescription drugs and it is often hard to find, some police forego the opportunity to seek such proof, and prosecution does not, then, have sufficient evidence to prove their case. Another defense includes improper implementation of standard legal procedure for the arrest or investigation, including botched field sobriety tests at the scene. And still other defenses exist, such as asserting the defendant’s speedy trial rights and the prosecution’s failure to provide discovery.

Fines and Penalties for DUI for Prescription Drugs in Monmouth County, New JerseyWhat Impact Does a Prescription Medication DUI Have on a Person’s Record?

A person convicted of a prescription drug-related DUI will have the DUI show up on their New Jersey driving record, as opposed to their criminal record. This is an important delineation if you face a subsequent DWI offense or a criminal charge in the future. If the driver was found in possession of a prescription drug for which they did not have a prescription, the charge for that is criminal in nature, warranting a criminal record if convicted and distinct penalties. Depending on the amount of the drug involved, the person could face years in jail.

Enlist Our New Jersey Prescription Drug DUI Lawyers to Defend Your Case Today

Driving under the influence of prescription drugs in New Jersey is a very serious charge, even more so if the driver is found to be under the influence of a drug for which they do not have a prescription. It is absolutely necessary to have the skilled support of a DUI defense attorney for all drug-related DUI’s. An experienced DUI attorney at our Monmouth County law firm will work on your behalf to ensure that all legal procedures were followed to the tee and, if possible, raise relevant defenses to have your charges dismissed. We have tens of years of experience successfully representing clients charged with prescription drug-related DUI in Rumson, Red Bank, Long Branch, Colts Neck, Belmar, Manasquan, Middletown, Ocean Township, Howell, and towns throughout Monmouth and Ocean County, and we’re here to help you. Contact Chamlin, Uliano, & Walsh today at 732-440-3950 and let us move swiftly together to get you back on the road and to your life.

Categorised in: Criminal Defense, Drug Charges, DWI