Old Bridge Police make a high number or arrests for marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession. This is in part due to Old Bridge being on the corridor from central jersey to New York City. Routes 9, 18, 34 and 516 bring heavy traffic through Old Bridge Township.
This heavy traffic brings lots of cars pulled over in Old Bridge. After pulling a vehicle over for a traffic violation such as speeding, tailgating, or passing a school bus, police will obviously approach the driver and ask for his or her credentials. Old Bridge police are well-trained to smell both raw and burnt marijuana. If, during a lawful stop, police smell the odor or marijuana, they may ask the driver for consent to search the vehicle.
As long as the refuse to consent was properly explained and consent was given voluntarily, the police may generally search the interior of the vehicle for drugs. Since marijuana is as popular as it is illegal in New Jersey, these stops often turn up the drug along with paraphernalia used to inhale it.
Possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia are both disorderly persons offenses. A disorderly persons offense in New Jersey carries up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. They also carry a minimum driver’s license suspension of 6 months. Note that there is no such thing as an “emergency” or “restricted” license in New Jersey. Suspended means suspended – no driving for any reason. Driving on the suspended/revoked list is also a very serious offense.