Yes, You Can Get Charged With DUI / DWI While Using CBD Oil

CBD OilMarijuana is a drug that comes from the cannabis plant – also referred to as weed or pot.  Marijuana is well-known for its psychoactive effects, due to a chemical compound that naturally occurs in the plant called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.  Here, at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, we frequently discuss marijuana and driving, because if a police officer pulls you over and finds that you are impaired as the result of weed or pot, you can lose your license, be required to pay considerable fines, and even go to jail.

Nonetheless, as recreational and medicinal marijuana use increases, there has also been growing interest in another marijuana extract known as cannabidiol or CBD.   Some are calling CBD a “hot new product,” and with the increasing popularity of items like CBD oil, there has also been an increase in misinformation and rumors. Many people claim that that you can’t get high if you use CBD.  Based on this, others have suggested that you cannot get a DUI or DWI if you have been using CBD.  Today, we at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog are going to take a more in-depth look at the buzz around CBD.

What is CBD?

There are approximately 483 known compounds in a marijuana plant.  THC is the main psychoactive component, meaning it is the main compound that gets users high.  CBD (which stands for Cannabidiol as stated) includes approximately 65 other compounds.

Since CBD should not include THC, pure CBD is marketed as non-intoxicating – meaning it should not get you high or make you impaired or stoned.  Instead, some people refer to CBD as the medical part of cannabis or the good part of cannabis, because it can provide pain relief and has anti-inflammatory effects. At the same time, it can also bring about a sense of relief or relaxation.

How Is CBD Oil Used?

CBD must be delivered with the help of a carrier oil, like grapeseed, coconut, or hemp oil.  Generally, anything that can incorporate oil can be combined with CBD oil, so it can be taken as drops, soft-gel capsules, tinctures, under-the-tongue sprays, used in cooking, or even absorbed through the skin as a lotion or cream.

Can CBD Get You High?  Can You Get a DUI or DWI?

CBD oil containing products should not get you high – but that does not mean that it won’t get you high.  In fact, there is no guarantee that a police officer will not charge you if you are pulled over after using a CBD product.  Here’s why:

  • First, there is no guarantee that your source of CBD is pure. Studies show that CBD works better when it is taken at the same time as THC, so it is possible that any product that provides CBD will include some amount of THC.
  • Second, even though pure CBD is marketed as non-intoxicating, all resources state that even the purest CBD oil will still contain trace amounts of THC. Consumed in a high enough quantity, CBD is known to cause users to fail a drug test.
  • Third, since CBD can cause persons to be more relaxed, calm, or comfortable, and since there is some amount of THC in CBD oil, using CBD oil can still make a person appear impaired or intoxicated.

Taken all together, if a police officer pulls you over after you have been using CBD oil, he or she may think you are intoxicated because of your relaxed appearance and possibly slowed reaction times – even if you aren’t impaired.  A subsequent blood or urine test might show positive for marijuana use.  If both of these pieces of evidence are presented, a Court may be convinced to convict you of driving while high, even though you weren’t intoxicated.

If you or someone you know has been charged as the result of CBD oil use, you will need an experienced marijuana driving defense attorney to represent you.  Only a lawyer familiar with these issues will be able to present the complicated evidence to refute the charges against you.  The reality is that the laws regarding marijuana remain flawed, and an experienced DUI attorney will be best suited to present the best defense possible in your case.

New Jersey Marijuana Driving Defense Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Can Help if You’ve Been Wrongly Accused

There are more and more marijuana prosecutions related to driving while high every day.  If you or someone you know is charged with driving while impaired or intoxicated, you need an attorney whose expertise is in the area of DUI and DWI defense.  A good lawyer can make all the difference.  To speak with an experienced New Jersey DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

NJ Man Found Not Guilty of Driving While High Although Found with THC in His Blood

Blood testA recent New Jersey case demonstrated why it is so important to get a good DUI / DWI defense attorney if you or someone you know is ever charged with driving under the influence of marijuana.  A South Jersey man, Patrick Miller, was charged with driving while intoxicated in addition to two counts of vehicular homicide in a 2015 accident that took two lives.  Miller was subsequently tested and found to have THC in his blood.  THC is the active ingredient in marijuana.

Based on the results of the blood test, multiple charges were brought and Miller faced up to 20 years in state prison.  Prosecutors recommended a sentence of 12 years if he agreed to plead guilty.  Instead, Miller plead not guilty, sought legal counsel, and went to trial to fight the charges against him.  This past week, he was acquitted, meaning a jury of twelve of his peers agreed that he was not guilty.

The Accident

Patrick Miller’s accident was highlighted in the news after the 28-year-old handyman lost control of his pickup truck and struck a jogger and local teacher, Allison McGinnis.  Miller’s truck then struck a tree, flipped over, and killed his passenger, David Eldridge.

The Blood Test

Miller was airlifted from the crash.  Accordingly, he was given a blood test while receiving medical treatment – blood tests are very common when a driver who is suspected of DUI or DWI is injured.  Because a breathalyzer or breath test cannot be given to a seriously injured driver, police officers will often request a warrant and get a court-ordered blood test to determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants.

In this case, police officers administered a blood test to see if Miller was under the influence of any substances.  4 nanograms per milliliter of THC were found in Miller’s blood sample.  Accordingly, prosecutors blamed the accident on intoxication and decided to bring charges including Driving While Intoxicated and vehicular manslaughter, based on the theory that Miller drove his truck recklessly while intoxicated causing two deaths.

The Defense in the Case

Instead of accepting the plea deal, Miller chose to fight the charges against him.  The law requires the state to prove that a driver is actually intoxicated or impaired while operating a motor vehicle.  Experts were presented by both the prosecution and the defense to argue that the blood test results were unreliable in establishing intoxication.  In fact, Miller’s results – the THC reading of 4 nanograms per milliliter of blood – was below the level set as a standard in many of the states that have legal marijuana — 5 nanograms of THC concentration.

Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has cautioned against using blood tests to determine cannabis impairment, and many lawyers and politicians are concerned that this arbitrary standard could lead to false accusations and flawed charges being brought against marijuana users.  One  of the major problems in prosecuting driving while high cases is that marijuana can remain in the blood stream long after a person is no longer impaired or under the influence.

In Miller’s case, other defenses included witness testimony that helped show that he was not driving erratically shortly before the accident, nor was he impaired while performing handyman work 20 minutes before the accident occurred.  Ultimately, a jury agreed with Miller and his attorney that there was not enough evidence to show that Miller was actually intoxicated or impaired while operating his vehicle.

New Jersey Marijuana Driving Defense Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Can Defend You if You’re Charged

The consequences for driving while high are serious.  If you or someone you know is arrested, charged or convicted, an experienced attorney will know how to defend you in a court of law before a judge and jury.  Hiring the right attorney matters. A good lawyer can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI/DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

One of the Most Common Days for DUI Arrests – Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday - One of the Most Common Days for DUI ArrestsThis coming Sunday, February 3, 2019, the Los Angeles Rams will be facing off against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Many people will start drinking early in the day.  By the time the game ends over 4 hours later, many people will have had at least a few drinks.  When it comes time to leave, remember: Don’t Drink and Drive on Super Bowl Sunday.

When it comes to holidays normally associated with frequent drinking and driving arrests, most people think of New Year’s Eve, Independence Day, or St. Paddy’s Day.  In fact, Super Bowl Sunday also frequently has one of the highest rates of DUI arrests across the United States for drunk driving, intoxicated driving, and impaired operating of a motor vehicle.  Here at the Edward M. Janzekovich Law Blog, we always like to remind our readers to take simple precautions in order to avoid becoming another statistic.

The Numbers: Super Bowl And DUI

  1. A 9-year-long study conducted by the Automobile Club of Southern California found that drunken driving-related crashes resulting in injuries were 41% higher on Super Bowl Sunday than on other Sundays in January or February. New Year’s Eve was the only night that was worse, with a 44% increase. Christmas was ranked the third most dangerous major holiday.
  2. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over one third of all U.S. traffic deaths during the 2016 Super Bowl involved drunk drivers
  3. The legal limit for blood alcohol content in the United States is .08% BAC (or .05% in Utah). According to BACtrack, a company specializing in smartphone-enabled alcohol breath tests, in 2014, its users recorded an average BAC of .091% on Super Bowl Sunday – high enough to convict the average user of driving while intoxicated and just shy of the average .094% associated with New Year’s Eve.
  4. Data from Alcohol Monitoring Systems (AMS) – which analyzes the drinking behavior of 530,000 repeat DUI offenders – found that drinking violations by repeat drunk drivers increased an average of 22% nationwide on Super Bowl Sunday, compared to the average Sunday.
  5. Residents in Los Angeles and New England may have even more reason to be worried – statistically, residents in areas associated with one of the teams playing in the Super Bowl experience an even bigger spike in DUIs and DWIs.  In 2015, when the Patriots played in the big game, violations in New England were twice as high as the rest of the country as well as compared to the average Sunday in the region.

How to Avoid Getting Convicted for Drunk Driving on Super Bowl Sunday

New Jersey law enforcement officials are aware of the spike in drinking and driving on Super Bowl Sunday, so police officers across the state will be on high alert.  You can guarantee that police officers across New Jersey will be looking for any sign of intoxication or impairment on the roads this weekend.

The best thing you can do to avoid getting a DUI or DWI this Sunday is to have a plan.  If you are leaving your home to watch the game, consider having a reliable designated driver.  If you end up drinking more than you planned on, consider staying where you are overnight.  Alternatively, use a taxi, Uber, Lyft, or other ride share service to get where you are going for the night or to come home.  If you need to, leave your car where it is overnight and get it in the morning.

If you get arrested for DUI or DWI, one of your first steps should be calling an experienced drunk driving lawyer as soon as possible.  A good attorney can take action to protect your rights.  No matter what day of the year it is, a conviction for drunk driving in New Jersey will result in serious fines, penalties, and consequences that can affect yourself, your job, your family, and  your loved ones.

New Jersey DUI/DWI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Can Act to Protect Your Rights

If you or someone you know is arrested, charged or convicted of drunk driving this winter, calling a good lawyer is the most important thing you can do.  An experienced lawyer will work to review your case and defend you in Court. A good lawyer can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI/DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

More New Canadian DWI Laws Including Blood Alcohol Content Extrapolation

DWILast week on the Edward M. Janzekovich Law Blog, we discussed several new laws being enacted in Canada and compared those laws to New Jersey’s statutes on intoxicated driving.  Canada’s new laws against driving impairment are already be called among the toughest in the world, and many would say they are even harsher than New Jersey’s already strict laws that aim to penalize and/or prevent drunk driving.

We previously went over how Canadian police officers are now permitted to pull over a vehicle and ask the driver to submit to a breath test at random without cause, and anyone convicted will be subjected to even harder consequences.

This week, we will discuss Canada’s law that allows police officers to extrapolate or determine a driver’s blood alcohol content at the time the driver was driving, even 10 hours after the person was driving.  This provision for extrapolating BAC is extremely harsh, because a driver can be convicted long after he or she puts down the keys.

Canada’s Provision for Determining a Driver’s Past BAC

Under Canada’s legal system, a police officer may take a driver’s blood sample at any time after he or she was driving and then use a formula to count back and figure out the driver’s past BAC.  This means that law enforcement officials can arrest a driver and take his or her blood sample long after the person is out of the car and no longer driving.  This blood sample can then be tested, and the results can be adjusted based on the formula to approximate the driver’s BAC hours earlier, when he or she was driving.

As long as there is a minimum of 20 milligrams of alcohol in the blood at the time of testing, police officers are entitled to add 10 mg of alcohol for every hour to determine what the person’s BAC was even 10 hours earlier.  The law has no provisions for account for things that could affect the results, like weight, genetics, food intake, drugs, disease, or other factors.

New Jersey’s Law Requiring a Blood Draw Within a Reasonable Time

Previously, Canadian law enforcement were required to obtain blood samples within two hours of the person driving.  This is similar to the current law in New Jersey.

When somebody is charged with drunk driving in the Garden State, one of the ways the New Jersey law enforcement can prove DUI or DWI is by introducing evidence that the driver’s BAC was above the legal limit of .08% or higher.  Because a breathalyzer cannot be used in all situations, police officers are sometimes required to request a blood draw.  For instance, a driver who is involved in a car accident may be unconscious or too injured to provide a breath sample.  In those cases, the investigating officer may attempt to get a blood sample, either by getting a warrant, getting consent, or proving exigent circumstances.

If a blood draw is taken, the general rule in New Jersey is that the blood sample must be taken in a reasonable period of time from when the driver was last driving.  A blood draw taken within a reasonable time period of the encounter is necessary to ensure that the BAC fairly reflects the level of intoxication when the motorist was operating his or her vehicle.

New Jersey has no provision allowing for extrapolating or approximating BAC backwards to the time the driver was driving involving a charge of NJSA 39:4-50. Therefore, unlike under the new Canadian law, a good attorney in New Jersey may be able to have any blood BAC evidence dismissed if he or she can show that there was an unreasonable delay in obtaining the sample or if there was an intervening incident – such as additional drinking, eating, taking medications, etc. – that could affect a driver’s results or condition.

How a Lawyer Can Help if You are Arrested or Charged in NJ

As noted last week, Canada’s new laws have been specifically redesigned to make defending against DUI and DWI charges harder.  In New Jersey, getting a good lawyer as soon as possible can still make a huge difference, and an attorney may even be able to have the case dismissed completely.  If you or someone you know is charged with driving while intoxicated, an experienced lawyer will be able to review the evidence against you and put up the best defense on your behalf.

New Jersey DUI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Is There for You If You’ve Been Charged with Drunk Driving

DWI/DUI cases can often involve complicated issues of evidence, and successfully challenging that evidence requires knowledge and experience about the law.  If you or someone you know is facing a DWI charge, a knowledgeable drunk driving attorney can make all the difference.  To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

How a Drunk Driving Conviction Could Affect Your Ability to Practice Law

Lit up police car lights during nighttimePerhaps you or someone you know are debating applying to law school and have a DUI/DWI conviction that is 5, 10 or even 20 years old. Or perhaps you are in your second year of law school and recently had one drink too many while at a school function and were unfortunately arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. One of the first thoughts running through your mind might be how this incident may affect your chances of being admitted to practice law – in New Jersey or any other state.

At the end of the day, the issue of whether or not you will be permitted to practice law with a record or history of driving while intoxicated is “it depends.”  For that reason, if you are facing current or recent charges for DUI or DWI, it is important to get an attorney immediately.  An attorney may also be able to appeal and possibly overturn past convictions.  If the DWI/DUI appears on your record, it could make it harder to be admitted to practice law or even be cause for your license to be denied.  In addition to the fines, potential jail time, and loss of a driver’s license faced by every drunk driving defendant, a DUI conviction could seriously affect your ability to work or provide for your family and loved ones.

Lengthy Background Investigation

In order to become a licensed attorney, an individual must both graduate from an accredited law school and pass the bar exam for the state he/she wishes to practice in. However, even if you achieve these two things, in order to be admitted to practice, an individual is required to show that they are of sufficient character and fitness to be an attorney.

Each state conducts its own character and fitness investigation in various ways, including New Jersey.  The sometimes-lengthy process typically involves providing fingerprints and submitting to a detailed background check, including personal references.  If you have been convicted of Driving While Intoxicated or Refusing to Submit to a Breath Test in New Jersey at any point in time, it will appear on your driving record, and the Bar Admission review board will see it.  Out-of-state convictions will also likely appear on your permanent driving record.

In general, most minor offenses will not prevent an otherwise qualified applicant from Bar Admission in a given state, including New Jersey.  Convictions for DUI/DWI are treated more seriously than minor offenses, but less seriously than felonies or crimes.  For that reason, the circumstances surrounding any drunk driving record, including the number of offenses, will be considered as a potential aggravating factor.

New Jersey bar applicants whose backgrounds may be a little more complicated, such as those with a DWI conviction, generally face a more detailed inquiry. This may mean a lengthier investigation, with more conversations with previous employers, review of treatment records, or potentially even inquires with old high school friends. It is very possible that an applicant will be found of sufficient character and fitness after the lengthier inquiry, even with one drunk driving conviction.  Unfortunately, this may not be true in every state.

Character and Fitness and Substance Abuse

According to the American Bar Association, one of the top four areas of concern for bar examiners in evaluation character and fitness is untreated substance abuse. The Bar Examiners will pay particular attention to recent convictions, multiple convictions, and the circumstances surrounding any conviction.

The bar examiners are much more likely to find an applicant who has a DUI conviction and sought treatment to be of sufficient character and fitness, rather than someone who did not seek out help. Essentially, treatment is viewed as a plus, not a minus. However, even if you did not seek out treatment at the time of your offense or conviction, it does not mean that you will be denied admission to the bar. Each person and each case are different, and the board of bar examiners understands this.

How an Drunk Driving Attorney Can Help

If you want to become a lawyer, or work in any number of other professions, your DUI/DWI record could make it difficult or impossible to become professionally licensed.  It is imperative to understand all of the ways in which a DUI/DWI charge or conviction can affect your permanent record. If you or someone you know has been charged or convicted of drunk driving, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A good lawyer can aggressively fight pending DUI charges and may even be able to appeal and overturn old convictions, wiping them from your permanent record.

New Jersey DUI/DWI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Understands How a Conviction Can Affect Your Career and Livelihood

The penalties for drunk driving are severe.  For some, it can even mean the loss of a professional license, in addition to fines, jail time, and loss of driving privileges.  If you or someone you know is charged with driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, it is extremely important to contact an experienced DUI/DWI attorney who can explain your rights to you and vigorously defend you. If you go to court, an experienced lawyer can also make sure you get the best result possible and can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI/DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

Wishing Everyone a Happy and Safe New Year Into 2019

A police officer holds the breath test machine for a suspectEvery year at this time, we at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog like to wish all of our readers a safe and Happy  New Year.  At the same time, we also would like to remind everyone that New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous nights of the year for drunk driving and DUI/DWI arrests.  If you can, avoid the roads – especially if you’ve had even one drink.  In New Jersey, law enforcement officials across the state will be on high alert for the slightest signs of drunk driving or suspicious, erratic behavior.

In fact, for the entire month of December 2018, police officers across the state will be stepping up their efforts to curb drunk driving during the annual “Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over” campaign during the holidays.  This year, 161 New Jersey police departments in 21 counties have received special funding to increase overtime for patrol officers looking to pull over.  If you or someone you know is thinking about drinking and driving on New Year’s Eve, there is a good chance that you will get caught.

161 New Jersey Towns and Police Departments with Increased Holiday OT Patrols

This year, the state Division of Highway and Traffic Safety handed  out over $775,500 to towns and law enforcement agencies to spend on increased overtime for police staff.  This represents an increase from last year, when 128 departments received the grant.  Last year, an additional 200 departments participated at their own expense, and it is likely that a similar number will participate this year.

During this time, police departments aim to increase visibility and enforcement.  Departments across the start will attempt to prevent drunk driving in the first place by using sobriety checkpoints and having more patrol cars on the roads in visible areas.

The following municipalities and departments will be participating:

Atlantic County

  1. Atlantic City
  2. Egg Harbor Twp
  3. Galloway PD
  4. Mullica PD
  5. Bergen County
  6. Bogota PD
  7. Cliffside Park PD
  8. Edgewater PD
  9. Emerson PD
  10. Fort Lee PD
  11. Garfield PD
  12. Lodi PD
  13. Mahwah PD
  14. New Milford PD
  15. Old Tappan PD
  16. Ramsey PD
  17. Ridgewood PD
  18. Wyckoff PD

Burlington County

  1. Bordentown PD
  2. Bordentown Twp PD
  3. Burlington PD
  4. Cinnaminson PD
  5. Delanco PD
  6. Delran PD
  7. Lumberton PD
  8. New Hanover PD
  9. Riverside PD.00

Camden County

  1. Barrington PD
  2. Camden County Metro
  3. Gloucester Twp PD
  4. Haddonfield PD
  5. Lindenwold PD
  6. Pine Hill PD
  7. Stratford PD
  8. Winslow PD
  9. Cape May County
  10. Middle PD

Cumberland County

  1. Millville PD
  2. Essex County
  3. Belleville PD
  4. Bloomfield PD
  5. Cedar Grove PD
  6. Essex County Sheriff
  7. Montclair PD
  8. West Caldwell PD
  9. West Orange PD

Gloucester County

  1. Clayton PD
  2. Deptford PD
  3. East Greenwich PD
  4. Franklin PD
  5. Glassboro PD
  6. Greenwich PD
  7. Harrison PD
  8. Mantua PD
  9. Monroe PD
  10. Pitman PD
  11. Rowan University PD
  12. Washington PD
  13. Westville PD
  14. Woodbury Heights PD
  15. Woodbury PD
  16. Woolwich PD

Hudson County

  1. Bayonne PD
  2. Harrison PD
  3. Hoboken PD
  4. Hudson County Sheriff
  5. Kearny PD
  6. North Bergen Twp PD
  7. Union City PD
  8. West New York PD

Hunterdon County

  1. Clinton PD
  2. Clinton Twp PD.
  3. Flemington PD
  4. Frenchtown PD
  5. Lebanon PD
  6. Raritan PD
  7. Readington PD
  8. West Amwell PD

Mercer County

  1. East Windsor PD
  2. Ewing PD
  3. Hamilton PD
  4. Hightstown PD
  5. New Jersey State Park Police
  6. Robbinsville PD
  7. West Windsor PD

Middlesex County

  1. Dunellen PD
  2. Edison PD
  3. Middlesex PD
  4. North Brunswick PD
  5. Plainsboro PD
  6. South Brunswick PD
  7. Spotswood PD

Monmouth County

  1. Aberdeen PD
  2. Allentown PD
  3. Asbury Park PD
  4. Deal PD
  5. Eatontown PD
  6. Freehold Twp PD
  7. Holmdel PD
  8. Marlboro PD
  9. Middletown PD
  10. Monmouth Beach PD
  11. Ocean PD
  12. Spring Lake Heights PD

Morris County

  1. Boonton Township PD
  2. Chester Twp PD
  3. Denville PD
  4. Dover PD
  5. Hanover PD
  6. Jefferson PD
  7. Montville PD
  8. Morris County Park Police
  9. Morris Twp PD
  10. Mount Olive PD
  11. Parsippany-Troy Hills PD
  12. Randolph PD
  13. Roxbury PD

Ocean County

  1. Barnegat PD
  2. Bay Head PD
  3. Berkeley PD
  4. Jackson PD
  5. Lakehurst PD
  6. Manchester PD
  7. Ocean Gate PD
  8. Point Pleasant Beach PD
  9. Point Pleasant PD

Passaic County

  1. Bloomingdale PD
  2. Little Falls PD
  3. Passaic PD
  4. Wanaque PD
  5. Wayne PD

Salem County

  1. Penns Grove PD

Somerset County

  1. Bedminster PD
  2. Bernards PD
  3. Bernardsville PD
  4. Bound Brook PD
  5. Branchburg PD
  6. Bridgewater PD
  7. Far Hills PD
  8. Franklin PD
  9. Green Brook PD
  10. Hillsborough PD
  11. Manville PD
  12. Montgomery PD
  13. North Plainfield PD
  14. Peapack Gladstone PD
  15. Raritan PD
  16. Somerset County Sheriff
  17. Somerville PD
  18. South Bound Brook PD
  19. Warren PD
  20. Watchung PD

Sussex County

  1. Hopatcong PD
  2. Sparta PD
  3. Vernon PD

Union County

  1. Berkeley Heights PD
  2. Clark PD
  3. Elizabeth PD
  4. Linden PD
  5. Plainfield PD
  6. Rahway PD
  7. Roselle Park PD
  8. Union PD.00

Warren County

  1. Independence PD

What Police Officers Are Looking For

In order to prevent drunk driving accidents and improve safety, NJ Cops will be performing random stops of vehicles at police checkpoints, looking for signs of inebriation and impairment.  Checkpoints are a reminder that drivers should not be behind the wheel after drinking.  If you see a checkpoint ahead, you are permitted to pull over or turn around before reaching the checkpoint.  Police officers would rather drivers call a taxi or Uber than be caught driving drunk.

Additionally, police officers will be pull over any suspicious vehicles.  Law enforcement officials are trained to look for cars driving aggressively, speeding, swerving, or driving without headlights.  If a vehicle is pulled over for one of these reasons, it will be considered a legal stop, and it could lead to a DUI or DWI if the driver is found drunk.

For all these reasons, we at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog urge all of our readers to avoid drinking and driving and to celebrate the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 safely.  Happy New Year!

New Jersey DUI/DWI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Is There for You at the End of this Year and Into the Next

If you or someone you know is pulled over or arrested for drunk driving during the holidays, you can expect that New Jersey state and county prosecutors will prosecute the case aggressively.  A good lawyer who knows the ins-and-outs of DUI and DWI law can be the best defense.  Having an experienced drunk driving lawyer can make all the difference.  To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI/DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

How You Act in Public May Be Reasonable Suspicion to Pull You Over for Drunk Driving

Police car on the street

Here on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, we previously discussed how police officers cannot pull you over and require you to submit to alcohol or drug testing for no reason. Before an officer can ask you to step out of the car and perform a roadside sobriety test or arrest you and have you submit to a breathalyzer, the officer must have a legal reason to pull you over – a “reasonable, articulable suspicion” that a motor vehicle or criminal offense had occurred.

In the recent case of State v. Ceglowski, which was decided earlier this month, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, confirmed that a citizen’s tip could be used to meet the reasonable, articulable suspicion standard. This means that an average citizen can call 911 and tell the operator that someone was acting drunk in public before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, and this tip can form the basis of the legal reason used by an officer to pull the person over and eventually arrest him or her for driving under the influence.

Reasonable and Articulable Suspicion

A “reasonable, articulable suspicion” or “reasonable suspicion” is a legal standard under the law that basically requires a police officer to have a legitimate reason to believe that a driver has done something wrong before the officer can pull the driver over – such as speeding or driving without headlights. Remember that most drivers are not initially pulled over for drunk driving. Most drivers are first pulled over for a traffic violation.

Once a driver is pulled over, a police officer may make new observations that causes him or her to believe that the driver is intoxicated or drunk. At this point, the police officer needs to meet the standard of “probable cause” before the officer can arrest the driver for DUI/DWI and ask him or her to submit to a breathalyzer test. The standard of “reasonable suspicion” is lower than the standard of “probable cause.”

In either scenario, an officer cannot act randomly, and the officer cannot “act on a hunch” – the officer must be able to state his or her reasons for believing that “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause” has been met. If the officer cannot state a legitimate reason for pulling a vehicle over or for asking a driver to submit to intoxication testing, then a good lawyer can argue to have the entire arrest dismissed and the charges dropped.

State v. Ceglowski

In State v. Ceglowski, a third-party citizen saw someone who appeared to be drunk and acting inappropriately inside and outside of a liquor store. The citizen then called the police department after she saw the person get behind the driver’s seat of a pickup truck. She was able to observe and report the license plate number and model of the vehicle. The driver was then pulled over by the police and arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated.

The driver subsequently argued in Court that the charges against him should be dropped because the call was insufficient and the police officer did not have a reasonable suspicion or legal basis for pulling him over in the first place. The Court disagreed, and the Appellate Division issued an opinion earlier this month confirming that a citizen can provide information to the police that sufficiently constitutes reasonable suspicion.

Depending on the circumstances, a good lawyer will be able to challenge a third-party tip to police, and the Court will decide if the tip is sufficient or credible based on a series of factors, including whether or not the tip was anonymous and how much information is provided to the police. Accordingly, if you or someone you know is pulled over and charged or arrested for DUI/DWI, it is important to contact a good attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer will be able to determine if police acted properly when making the initial stop, or if the police officers lacked reasonable suspicion or probable cause. If any legal requirements are missing, the Court may be required to drop the charges completely.

New Jersey Drunk Driving Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Is Ready to Fight the Charges Against You

If you or someone you know is charged with DUI or DWI, the government bears the burden of proof – which means that the government has to meet certain legal requirements to bring a case against you. If the police have acted inappropriately in any way, the evidence against you may be tainted and an experienced drunk driving attorney will be able fight the charges. If you are arrested for drunk driving in New Jersey, a good lawyer can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

“Ray Donovan” Actor Charged with Drunk Driving and Child Endangerment

Pulled over for drunk driving

Actor Marion “Pooch” Hall, from the television show Ray Donovan, was arrested in California earlier this month for drunk driving as well as child endangerment. Hall was seen by witnesses weaving in and out of traffic with a small child on his lap in the driver’s seat, unrestrained and behind the wheel. Burbank police officers arrested Hall after he crashed into a parked vehicle. No one was injured as a result of the collision.

Although the crash occurred in California, New Jersey has similar laws prohibiting drunk driving with enhanced penalties for anyone who is convicted of Driving While Intoxicated with a Minor Passenger in the vehicle. It is illegal for anyone to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08% BAC in all 50 states, and anyone convicted with a minor in the vehicle will likely face enhanced penalties as well as possible additional charges for child endangerment.

Charges Against Actor Marion “Pooch” Hall

Hall is an American television and film actor, rapper, and model known for his role as Derwin Davis in “The Game” on the CW/BET, as Ricky in the 2011 film “Jumping the Broom,” and currently as Daryll Donovan in the Showtime drama “Ray Donovan.”

Police officers responded to the scene and were able to arrest Hall after the crash occurred. Hall displayed signs of intoxication and was unable to perform the standardized field sobriety tests. Hall also had his two-year-old son riding in the car with him when he was driving. Subsequent reports indicate that Hall had a BAC of .25%, which is over three times the legal limit.

New Jersey’s Laws on DUI/DWI with a Minor Passenger

If this same incident had occurred in New Jersey, Hall would have been charged under this state’s law against drunk driving (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50), as well as additional charges of Driving While Intoxicated with a Minor Passenger (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.15(c)) – because any adult who is convicted of DWI/DUI and who, at the time of the violation, has a minor as a passenger in the car is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. This means that a driver can be convicted under two separate laws if he or she drives drunk with someone under the age of 18 in the vehicle.

As a disorderly person offense, any driver convicted will face enhanced penalties – up to six (6) months in jail, a $1,000 fine, six (6) month loss of driving privileges, and five (5) days of community service may be imposed at the time of sentencing.

Depending on the circumstances, the driver could also be facing separate charges for Endangering the Welfare of Children N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a)(2), which is entirely separate from the state’s prohibition of drunk driving.

Accordingly, if you or someone you know is arrested for DWI with a minor passenger, he or she could be facing up to three potential sets of charges with separate required proofs, defenses, and penalties. It will be important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

New Jersey DUI/DWI Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Understands the Situation You’re Facing

Dealing with charges of drunk driving or driving while intoxicated can be hard. Facing enhanced penalties for DWI/DUI for driving with a minor can make it even harder. The rules that affect each defendant will be different in every case. If you or someone you know is charged with drunk driving or driving under the influence in New Jersey, getting the right attorney can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

Driving While… Diabetic?

Driving While Diabetic

Getting arrested for drunk driving can be really scary. Getting pulled over and arrested for drunk driving when you haven’t been drinking or aren’t drunk? That can be even worse. Surprisingly, one of the things that could lead to a false DUI conviction is if a driver is suffering from low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), due to diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimated in 2012 that there are nearly 19 million people in the United States living with diabetes – and that only includes the people that have been diagnosed and know about it.

Unfortunately, if you are wrongly convicted of drunk driving, the consequences are the same – possible jail time, loss of license, fines, and the potential loss of your ability to work or provide for your family and loved ones. Defending against drunk driving charges can be extremely complicated. In order to prove you were falsely arrested, you will likely need a good lawyer, presenting expert evidence, to show that you were not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with DUI or DWI, we at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog recommend you reach out to an experienced drunk driving lawyer as soon as possible, especially if you suffer from a medical condition that could be responsible for your situation, like diabetes. You might even be suffering from a medical condition that you do not know about.

Symptoms of Intoxication versus Symptoms of Diabetes

The following symptoms are often associated with low blood sugar or hypoglycemia:

  • Bloodshot or unfocused eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Muscle Fatigue
  • Muscle Trembling or shaking
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Slurred Speech
  • Sweating

The following symptoms are often associated with high blood sugar or hyperglycemia:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Flushed or red skin
  • Loss of balance
  • Nausea
  • Sweet or fruity breath odor
  • Unusual breathing patterns
  • Vomiting

Not surprisingly, all of these symptoms can also be associated with intoxication. Despite the training that police officers receive, it is all too easy to mistake the signs of intoxication with the signs of someone having a diabetic episode.

In many cases, a person suffering from hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia will act and/or drive abnormally or erratically, leading a law enforcement officer to assume that the person is driving drunk or under the influence of drugs. If there is an accident, the officer may be more inclined to suspect drunk driving than diabetes. The bad breath associated with hyperglycemia, in particular, can easily be confused with alcohol breath and can even lead to a false positive on a road-side breathalyzer test.

One Thing You Can Do if You Know You Have Diabetes

In New Jersey, one of the things you can do if you have been diagnosed with diabetes is to list your condition on the back of your driver’s license. By doing this, you will be able to show a police officer that you have been legally classified with having this health condition. If you are seriously diabetic, you might also consider wearing a medical bracelet that identifies your condition. Both of these measures could also help if you have been in a collision and are unable to tell medical providers that you might be suffering from a diabetic episode.

New Jersey law N.J.S.A. 39:3-10.8a allows a person who is an insulin-dependent diabetic to voluntarily inform the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) of his or her diabetic status with the sole intent of having the medical condition written on his or her driver’s license. You will need to bring proof of the medical condition – in the form of a statement on your doctor’s prescription pad indicating that you have insulin-dependent diabetes – to the MVC when applying for or renewing your license.

Edward M. Janzekovich Has the Experience You Need if You Have Been Charged or Convicted

Proving you are innocent when you have been charged with driving while intoxicated is not easy. Defending DUI and DWI charges can involve complicated evidentiary issues. For that reason, you should always consult a drunk driving lawyer who understands and can review your case completely. An experienced DWI/DUI attorney can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

How a Conviction Can Affect Your Public Employment

Cop with a breath test machine

Here, on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, we regularly highlight the penalties for driving while intoxicated that are written into New Jersey law. However, many drivers who are convicted of a DUI or DWI will face additional consequences, including having a conviction affect their work or employment.

If you work in a position of public employment, there is a particularly good chance that a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol could result in adverse consequences, from suspension, to loss of pay, to demotion, or even outright termination. For this reason, if you or someone you know is ever arrested, charged, or convicted of driving while intoxicated, you should contact a lawyer who specializes in DUI defense immediately. A good attorney could mean the difference between being convicted or having the charges dropped completely.

Public Employees that Could Be Affected

Many positions of public employment include policies that address drunk driving – either specifically or by more general terms. These policies may be referred to as a Code of Conduct or Code of Ethics. If the language of the policy does not address drunk driving explicitly, drunk driving may still be considered under language prohibiting “conduct unbecoming” of a person in that office or position.

Police officers, firefighters, prosecutors, public attorneys, elected officials, and public administrators are just some of the positions that can be affected by an official Code of Conduct that addresses DUI and DWI convictions.

How a Conviction Could Affect Your Employment

Every position and every code of conduct can address issues with DUI and DWI convictions differently, and different positions at the same office of public agency can be affected differently. Some codes may only address drunk driving while in the course of employment, while others will prohibit intoxicated driving even for employees in their personal or private life.

For example, last month, a high-ranking official in the New York City Fire Department was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in New Jersey. After he was spotted swerving on the road by police officers, he was pulled over and required to submit to a blood alcohol or breathalyzer test. According to reports, his blood alcohol content (BAC) was .22%, which is nearly three times the legal limit of .08%. He was not in the course of his employment at the time and was operating his personal vehicle.

As a result of this conviction, the official was suspended without pay from his job for 30 days. The official also faces penalties under New Jersey law for driving while intoxicated – which can include loss of driving privileges, significant fines, mandatory installation of an interlock device, and possible jail time.

For many public employees, a DUI or DWI conviction may also affect them in the future, becoming an issue that could cost the employee a promotion, raise, or eligibility for advancement.

New Jersey Drunk Driving Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Understands How a Conviction Can Affect Your Job

The penalties for drunk driving are severe. In addition to fines, jail time, and loss of driving privileges, a conviction can also mean professional consequences for many drivers. If you or someone you know is charged with DUI or DWI, an experienced lawyer can also make sure you get the best result possible. A good attorney can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI/DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.