Defense of New Jersey
DWI and Criminal Cases

The increasing popularity of drones for recreational and commercial use has implications for public safety. New Jersey has no specific law against operating a drone while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  If you’ve been charged, it’s crucial to understand the legal implications. The Law Office of Bartholomew Baffuto specializes in defending against evidence of impairment by alcohol and drugs.

What is “Drunk Droning”?

Operating a drone while intoxicated poses a significant risk to the operator, bystanders, and property.  Impaired judgment, coordination, and reaction times can lead to accidents and injuries.

What Are the Potential Consequences for Drunk—or otherwise negligent or reckless—Droning?

Negligent or reckless drone operation could result in a lawsuit for injury or property damage.

If such conduct were prosecuted as a disorderly persons offense, penalties upon conviction could include:

  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Jail time up to six months

Contact a top DUI lawyer in New Jersey, familiar with defending against alcohol and drug evidence, to understand the full scope of consequences and build a strong defense strategy.

What Are the Legal Defenses to Negligent or Reckless Droning?

Below are the possible legal defenses to negligent or reckless droning charges, which apply categorically to any disorderly persons charge:

Lack of Probable Cause

Challenging the initial stop or arrest by law enforcement. If the officer lacked sufficient reason to suspect impairment, any evidence obtained might be inadmissible.

Inaccurate BAC Readings

It is always the case with breath testing that there could be factors affecting its accuracy, such as medical conditions or the presence of certain substances.

Improper Field Sobriety Tests

Questioning the administration or validity of any field sobriety tests can create reasonable doubt or defeat probable cause.

Drone Malfunction

If there are indications that an erratic drone flight was due to mechanical issues rather than operator impairment, it is conceivable that this could provide a defense in a civil, disorderly persons or criminal action.

Is Breath Testing Required in a Drunk Droning Case?

While breath testing is a standard procedure in DWI cases, there is no law compelling breath testing with drunk droning.  Law enforcement officers may suspect intoxication based on signs such as:

  • Erratic drone operation
  • Slurred speech
  • The smell of alcohol
  • Difficulty maintaining balance

If there’s reasonable suspicion of impairment, law enforcement might conceivably request field sobriety tests.

In any event, a traditional breath test might not be immediately feasible due to the logistics of a drone-related incident. Future technological advancements may lead to more streamlined breath testing procedures and a specific law compelling breath testing of suspected impaired drone operators.

If you face charges related to drunk droning, it’s essential to seek the expertise of the Law Offices of Bartholomew Baffuto. Their specialized knowledge and experience can be invaluable in building your defense and protecting your rights.

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