“Cocaine Hangover” Bergen County, New Jersey Court Ruling on DWI Case
A man by the name of Kenneth Verpent was found guilty by a jury of driving while intoxicated in a Bergen County, New Jersey court despite the fact that his blood alcohol level was zero and that he passed the field sobriety tests administered by the police on the scene of a horrific accident that left a women by the name of Sabrina Patrick’s spine fractured. It was reported by The Bergen Record that at the trial evidence was produced that Verpant tested positive for cocaine based upon a urine sample. The expert testimony adduced by the prosecutor was that cocaine use after the high is over, leaves the user depressed, drowsy and fatigued. The expert, Forensic toxicologist H. Chip Walls from the University of Miami opined that cocaine stays in the human body for only a short time and then the “cocaine hangover” occurs.
Apparently, the rebound or hangover effect of the use of certain substances has an effect even after the “desired purpose” for taking the substance has worn off.
So the question is can the “hangover” effect theory of prosecution be applied to drivers that may be impaired by the use of prescription drugs if the substance can be traced in their bodies? Stay tuned.