Skilled Defense For Driving Offenses Involving Drugs & Alcohol
A DUI or DWI is the most common type of offense that can be charged against the average person. A lapse in judgment or a more significant underlying issue may be the cause for someone to make such a mistake. It may be tempting to represent yourself and present your own defense, or simply pay the fine and move on. However, it is especially important to work with an experienced DUI defense lawyer because the direct and collateral consequences may extend beyond a license suspension and fine.
Whether you are facing a driving offense relating to alcohol or controlled substances (drugged driving) in any municipality located in Middlesex, Monmouth or Ocean Counties, the Law Offices of Santiago & Associates, P.C. can help. Founding attorney Raymond S. Santiago has more than 19 years of courtroom experience, as a former prosecutor and defense attorney, ready to be put to use for your defense.
Penalties Are Severe For Both Alcohol and Drug-Related Driving Offenses
For someone whose blood alcohol level was between .08 and .10 when they were pulled over, penalties for a first DUI offense include:
- Fines between $250 and $400
- Up to 30 days in jail (at the judge’s discretion)
- Three-month suspension of driver’s license
If blood alcohol level exceeds .10, penalties become more severe. Fines run from $300 to $500, and your license can be suspended for up to a year. Subsequent offenses bring increasingly harsh penalties.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) are similar to the penalties for driving with a blood alcohol level above .10.
What Is Implied Consent, And When Does It Apply?
The idea of implied consent applies when a driver operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. New Jersey law states that, by driving on roads within the state, every driver has given implied consent to have their blood alcohol level tested by a breath test if they are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol.
However, there is no implied consent when it comes to driving under the influence of controlled substances. Drivers must be asked to consent to a urine or blood test for substances such as narcotics, heroin or cocaine. Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS’s) cannot be detected using a breath test, which only tests for alcohol.
An officer who is a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) may ask you a series of questions relating to your medical history or social status following a traffic stop to determine whether you might have these drugs in your system. There will likely be more of these experts in the field going forward, as New Jersey and other states move toward legalizing marijuana.