Measure Would Criminalize Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

WALL, NJ - Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini has introduced legislation that would criminalize driving under the influence of drugs.

This legislation would make it illegal in this State for a person to drive with any detectable amount of a controlled dangerous substance in a bodily fluid unless the substance was prescribed by a physician.

“Statistics show that one in every eight weekend drivers tests positive for use of illegal drugs,” said Angelini. “The state of New Jersey has taken a strong stance against drunk driving, but now it is time to address the serious problem of drugged driving.”

A person will be deemed to be under the influence of an intoxicating narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug under the bill if there is any amount of a drug or controlled dangerous substance in the person’s blood, saliva, urine, or any other bodily fluid.

“Driving while under the influence of drugs is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol,” said Angelini. “New Jersey must demonstrate that drugged driving will not be tolerated and seek to penalize anyone who puts their lives and the lives of others at risk by driving while using drugs.”

Under this legislation, when a person provides a bodily fluid sample pursuant to this State’s driving under the influence law which contains any amount of drug or controlled dangerous substance, the person will be charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and is punishable under the State’s criminal code for the offense.

The legislation is co-sponsored in the Assembly by Nelson Albano (D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic).