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An Officer Can Suspect Impairment By Drugs in
the Absence of Alcohol Odor

When an officer seems to think that the person is acting in a strange way but doesn’t smell the odor of alcohol, then I think the next step is for the officer to believe that the person is under the influence of some type of drug.

In a DUI prescription drug case, you’re not going to smell or even necessarily see the drug. It’s not like a case where you have marijuana and you’re going to smell an odor of marijuana in the car or on the person’s clothing, which makes it fairly easy for a police officer to jump to the conclusion that the person is under the influence. Or if you’re dealing with somebody who may be under the influence of cocaine, that person may have powder on his or her nostrils that will, again, tip off the officer to a potential drug use.

Prescription Drug-Related DWIs Have Less Physical Evidence Which the Police Use in Order to Make an Arrest

There are some cases where they may be needles in the car which will lead the officer to believe that the person is under the influence of heroin. When prescription drugs come into play, it’s just not as obvious.

The other more important aspect of a prescription drug case is that the police officer is not an appropriate witness to make conclusions that a person is under the influence of a prescription drug.

These officers rarely have any medical training. Their training generally consists of a high school diploma. Perhaps the officer got an Associate’s degree or Bachelors degree.

However, that type of education is 100% insufficient for coming to a proper medical conclusion about whether the person is under the influence of a prescription drug.

New Jersey DWI Info Guide

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