Traffic Law DUI/DWI Newsletters

Admissibility of Evidence of Drug Use in Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Cases

The finding of a drug of abuse in a subject’s blood or urine may result in extreme prejudice against the defendant even if evidence of impairment is not convincing. The mere presence of such a controlled substance may be enough for conviction. For this reason, many courts require probable cause for suspecting drug impairment before a sample can be taken and/or analyzed for the drug. The Drug Evaluation and Classification program (DRE) evaluation in some cases will be enough to show probable cause.

Criminal Offense of Attempting to Elude

It is against the law to attempt to elude a police officer by willfully failing to stop a vehicle if the officer gives you an audible or visual signal to stop and the police officer is in uniform, prominently displaying a badge or other insignia. If a police officer is in an appropriately marked official police vehicle when he or she gives the signal stop, whether or not the officer is in uniform, the vehicle driver may not attempt to elude the officer by willfully failing to stop the vehicle.

DUI in a School Zone

In general, all states provide for maximization of penalties when a driving offense involves a school bus or it is committed within a school zone. New Jersey is unique in establishing a law imposing stiff penalties for drunk driving and other serious traffic offenses when committed in the vicinity of a school or a school crossing.

Penalties for DUI/DWI Offenses Involving Operation of Aircraft

A state may enact a statute rendering it unlawful to operate an aircraft while under the influence of intoxicating liquors, or in such a careless and reckless manner as to endanger the life or property of another. These statutes will also impose penalties, typically a fine and potential incarceration. Such statutes are strictly enforced, and any conviction can be later used to enhance a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Sober Living as Alternative Sentencing for DUI/DWI

A court may consider imposing alternative sentencing in lieu of the statutorily required and/or suggested penalties for the repeat offender of a state’s laws governing driving while intoxicated and/or driving under the influence (DWI/DUI). One such alternative is the “sober living” environment. Not all states allow this alternative; these states impose a mandatory sentence of imprisonment upon a repeat offender with no sentencing alternatives.