Marijuana Legalization & DUI Charges in Morris County, New Jersey
A New Jersey legislator from Morris County recently voiced concern over his prediction that marijuana legalization in NJ would lead to an increase in incidents of driving under the influence of marijuana, raising law enforcement costs and insurance premiums. Senate Republican Whip, Joe Pennachhio, who resides in Morris County, said that “this is not your dad’s pot… you smoke this stuff, you’re going to be cognitively impaired. You shouldn’t be behind the wheel, but there’s no way of policing it.”
Despite the changing political landscape in New Jersey, with both supporters and opponents of legalization of marijuana voicing their positions, the fact of the matter is that driving under the influence of marijuana is a violation of NJ traffic laws. In fact, when it comes to driving under the influence of marijuana in New Jersey, R.S. 39:4-50(a)(ii) states that if a person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug, such as marijuana, that person shall be 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 Center section and, at 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 this State for a period of not less than seven months nor more than one year.
Proving DUI Charges in Morristown, NJ
As for proving a case of driving under the influence of marijuana in New Jersey, there are two ways that the prosecution can prove that a defendant was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs. One method is through expert testimony that can be elicited either from a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) or from a police officer who has knowledge, skill, and experience in discerning the effects of marijuana on human beings. The other way for NJ prosecutors to prove a DUI is to proceed without any expert testimony and submit all of the available admissible evidence to the judge, who can then assess the defendant’s conduct, results of any scientific tests, and direct and circumstantial evidence. State v. Bealor, 187 N.J. 574 (2006).
Free Consultation with the Tormey Law Firm About Your Parsippany DUI Charges
Regardless of whether marijuana becomes legal for recreational purposes in New Jersey, driving under the influence of marijuana will continue to be a violation of the law, with harsh consequences. If you are accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, the Tormey Law Firm can help. Our team of experienced DUI defense lawyers has successfully defended clients accused of driving under the influence of marijuana in courts throughout Morris County, NJ and we know what it takes to put forth an effective defense in your case. In fact, our legal team includes certified field sobriety test instructors, as well as our own DRE. We are available 24/7 to discuss your case and to start preparing your defense. Don’t hesitate to contact the Tormey Law Firm if you are accused of driving under the influence of marijuana in New Jersey.