A suspected drunk driver was arrested by Hanover PD after driving around in circles in a parking lot on Ridgedale Avenue. When officers arrived, they found him drinking in the vehicle and he also had vials containing small amounts of synthetic marijuana, according to the NJ.com article. The driver claimed he was lost. He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), reckless driving, possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
A criminal charge for possession of drug paraphernalia is governed by N.J.S. 2C:36-2 which provides in pertinent part:
§ 2C:36-2. Use or possession with intent to use, disorderly persons offense
It shall be unlawful for any person to use, or to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or toxic chemical in violation of the provisions of chapter 35 of this title. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.
In this case, the vials containing the synthetic marijuana or the baggies in the vehicle could be found to be drug paraphernalia. The defendant is facing a disorderly persons offense which includes up to a $1,000.00 fine, up to six (6) months in the county jail, and a permanent criminal charge on his record if convicted. He is eligible for the conditional discharge program if he has no prior drug convictions and has never used a diversionary program before.