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N.J. Court Says Hangovers Impair Drivers


— July 1, 2007

New York law may not outlaw driving while “huffing” (see below), but New Jersey law apparently covers driving with “drug hangovers”:

(AP) – NEWARK, N.J.-Motorists who drive while suffering a hangover from drug use can be considered impaired even if the drug’s immediate effects have passed, a state appeals court ruled.

The 3-0 ruling by the Appellate Division of state Superior Court considered a case involving cocaine use, and a prosecutor expressed doubt it would apply to alcohol hangovers.

“This case presents a novel issue as to whether a ‘rebound effect’ or a ‘hangover effect’ from a previous ingestion of cocaine constitutes being ‘under the influence’ of a narcotic drug,” the court wrote. “We hold that it does.”

The decision announced Thursday involved David L. Franchetta Jr., who was arrested two years ago after police observed him speeding and driving erratically. A blood test found evidence his body was metabolizing cocaine, and police said he was lethargic and incoherent because of the after-effects of cocaine use.

Franchetta was found guilty of driving under the influence of cocaine, his license was suspended for two years and he was ordered to serve 30 days of community service.

Details here from the AP via Findlaw.com.


New York law may not outlaw driving while “huffing” (see below), but New Jersey law apparently covers driving with “drug hangovers”:

(AP) – NEWARK, N.J.-Motorists who drive while suffering a hangover from drug use can be considered impaired even if the drug’s immediate effects have passed, a state appeals court ruled.

The 3-0 ruling by the Appellate Division of state Superior Court considered a case involving cocaine use, and a prosecutor expressed doubt it would apply to alcohol hangovers.

“This case presents a novel issue as to whether a ‘rebound effect’ or a ‘hangover effect’ from a previous ingestion of cocaine constitutes being ‘under the influence’ of a narcotic drug,” the court wrote. “We hold that it does.”

The decision announced Thursday involved David L. Franchetta Jr., who was arrested two years ago after police observed him speeding and driving erratically. A blood test found evidence his body was metabolizing cocaine, and police said he was lethargic and incoherent because of the after-effects of cocaine use.

Franchetta was found guilty of driving under the influence of cocaine, his license was suspended for two years and he was ordered to serve 30 days of community service.

Details here from the AP via Findlaw.com.

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