Interviewer: Let’s continue with testing. What about if the police suspect that you’re impaired because of drugs, either prescription or illegal ones, instead of alcohol. Will they ask you to do other tests?
Carl: Yes, very often they’ll ask you to take the breath test first. Then they’ll come to the conclusion, especially with the result of 00’s that you’re not under the influence of alcohol. Next, very often they’ll ask you to supply a urine sample. They’ll ask you to undergo this test right in the police station. They have sample bottles, which they will secure.
Interviewer: So, your saying they’ll do a breath test first. If it comes back 00’s they’ll ask for a urine test. Will they ask for a blood test or is urine the preferred method in New Jersey?
Carl: Well, urine is actually an easier mechanism for the police, because they can obtain that sample right there in the police station. In order to take blood they’re going to have to bring you to someone who can draw your blood in a medically acceptable manner, most likely a hospital.
The blood tests usually come into play when there was an accident and you are at the hospital anyway to be treated. That’s when the police will provide what’s called a blood kit to a nurse or some other qualified individual who can take a sample.
Interviewer: To continue on with drugs. Can people be charged if they’re using prescription drugs or they are only charged if it’s illegal drugs?
Carl: Well, the state of New Jersey has a statute that involves being impaired. You can be considered impaired by prescription drugs and you could be convicted. Blood or urine tests that would show positive for several prescription drugs and indicate that you were impaired at the time can result in a very difficult case for somebody to defend.
By Carl Spector