Did you know that certain prescription medications can impair your ability to drive safely? In New Jersey, it is crucial to be aware of the potential health and legal risks associated with driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Here is some valuable information about NJ DUI law as it pertains to driving under the influence of drugs, and insights on the types of prescription medications commonly known to impair driving in the state.

What Are The Legal Implications Of Driving Under The Influence Of Prescription Medications?

Driving under the influence of prescription medications is taken seriously in New Jersey. It is not only dangerous but also illegal. According to New Jersey Statute 39:4-50, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of any prescription drug that impairs the driver’s ability can result in significant consequences. If found guilty, you may face fines, license suspension, mandatory drug education programs, and even potential jail time. Specifically,

First Offense

  • Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.08% and 0.10% or operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor: Fine of not less than $250 nor more than $400.
  • BAC of 0.10% or higher or operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug: Fine of not less than $300 nor more than $500.
  • Detainment period of not less than 12 hours nor more than 48 hours spent during two consecutive days of not less than six hours each day.
  • Possible imprisonment of not more than 30 days.
  • Forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of New Jersey until an ignition interlock device is installed in one motor vehicle owned, leased, or principally operated by the person.
  • License forfeiture period:
    • 0.10% or higher but less than 0.15% BAC: Not less than seven months nor more than one year.
    • 0.15% or higher BAC: Not less than four months nor more than six months following installation of an ignition interlock device.

Second Offense

  • Fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000.
  • Community service for a period of 30 days.
  • Imprisonment for a term of not less than 48 consecutive hours nor more than 90 days.
  • License forfeiture period of not less than one year nor more than two years.
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device.

Third Or Subsequent Offense

  • Fine of $1,000.
  • Imprisonment for a term of not less than 180 days in a county jail or workhouse.
  • Possible reduction in the term of imprisonment for each day, not exceeding 90 days, served participating in a drug or alcohol inpatient rehabilitation program approved by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.
  • Forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of New Jersey for eight years.
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device.

Benzodiazepines: How Do They Affect Driving?

Have you ever wondered how benzodiazepines can impact your ability to drive safely? Benzodiazepines are a class of prescription medications commonly prescribed for anxiety, insomnia, and muscle spasms. While these medications can provide therapeutic benefits, they can also impair driving skills. The sedative effects of benzodiazepines, such as drowsiness, slowed reaction time, and impaired coordination, can significantly compromise your ability to operate a vehicle safely. It is vital to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and carefully read the warnings on medication labels to understand how benzodiazepines may affect you while driving. Additionally, it’s important to note that combining benzodiazepines with alcohol can intensify these impairing effects.

Opioids: Can They Impair Driving Ability?

Do opioids affect a person’s ability to drive safely? Opioids, commonly prescribed for pain management, can indeed impair driving ability. The effects of opioids, such as drowsiness, decreased alertness, and impaired judgment, can pose significant risks on the road. It is crucial to avoid driving while taking opioids, particularly when starting a new prescription or adjusting the dosage. If you require pain management, consider alternative transportation options, such as utilizing public transportation or seeking assistance from a designated driver, to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

Antidepressants And Antipsychotics: Do They Influence Driving Performance?

Do antidepressants and antipsychotics have an impact on driving performance? Antidepressants and antipsychotics, commonly prescribed for mental health conditions, may indeed influence driving performance. Some of these medications can cause side effects such as drowsiness, blurred vision, and difficulty concentrating, which can affect your ability to drive safely. It is important to consult with your healthcare provider about the potential effects of these medications on your driving ability. Understanding your individual response to these medications and following medical advice is crucial to ensure your safety on the road. Additionally, sudden discontinuation of these medications without medical supervision can pose its own risks, so it is essential to seek professional guidance if any changes in medication need to be made.

Stimulants: Are They Safe To Use While Driving?

Are stimulants safe to use while driving? Stimulant medications, commonly prescribed for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other conditions, can have both positive and negative effects on driving. While stimulants can increase alertness and focus, they may also have side effects such as increased heart rate and potential for anxiety, which can impact driving ability. It is crucial to closely follow the prescribed dosage and timing provided by your healthcare provider to minimize any potential risks. If you have concerns about the effects of stimulant medications on your driving, discuss them with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

New Jersey Criminal Defense / Traffic Ticket Lawyers

Driving under the influence of prescription medications is a serious matter that should never be taken lightly. Understanding the potential impairing effects of prescription medications on driving is essential for responsible medication use and ensuring your safety on the road. Always consult with your healthcare provider regarding medication safety and driving, and never hesitate to speak with a criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall if you have been charged with prescription medication DUI or another traffic offense. Our former prosecutors & accomplished NJ traffic ticket attorneys have over 200 years of combined experience to put into action. Contact our law office at (855) 966-4931 for an immediate free telephone consultation or to schedule an office meeting.