Artie Lange of the Howard Stern Show was charged last Friday with driving while Intoxicated (DWI) as a result of a minor NJ car accident that he caused in Toms River, New Jersey.
Today on the Stern show Artie claimed that he did not ingest any alcohol, nor had any illegal drugs in his system. He did mention that he was taking the prescribed drug, Lexapro.
A person can be found guilty of DWI if the prosecution can prove that the driver was intoxicated by a chemical substance. Drug related DWI charges are usually very difficult for the prosecution to prove in court. Unlike the common affects of alcohol use, the affects of drug use (whether legal or not) vary significatly.
Because of the diverse affects of drug use, NJ law requires that a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) be used to examine the DWI suspect and make a determination of whether the suspect was actually intoxicated.
Drug Recognition Experts are usually specially trained police officers. We have had NJ DWI cases dismissed because the DWI suspect is not promptly examined by a DRE.
Artie Lange’s urine was tested for the presence of chemical substances. Even if a high level of Lexapro is present in Artie’s urine, the prosecution will still have to prove that he was intoxicated.
Lexapro’s website does warn against using Lexapro and operating machinery and automobiles until the user is aware of the effects of the Lexapro.
Do you think Artie will be convicted?