New York Intoxicated driving laws do not only apply to alcohol; they also prohibit driving while impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. While being charged with a DWI in some cases requires a specific level of BAC, any substance which can affect your mental and physical capabilities are subject to a DWAI charge, and there is no particular threshold under which you would be legally permitted to operate a motor vehicle. This can include legal drugs, for which you have a prescription but which impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle such as a car, motorcycle, or truck.
Experienced, Successful & Reliable Legal Representation
If you have been arrested for a drug-related DWAI, our experienced New York DWI DUI lawyers can provide you with the aggressive and personalized defense necessary to get your charges reduced or your case dismissed entirely.
Drug-Related DWAI Penalties
It’s important to note that penalties for a drug DWAI are not the same as a DWAI by alcohol. The punishment for a drug-related DWAI or a combination of drugs and alcohol is the same as DWI. A DWI attorney in New York can explain the penalties you may face and how best to fight your charges.
To be convicted of a drug-related DWAI, the prosecution must prove:
- The defendant ingested a drug
- The drug ingested is one listed under Public Health Law 3306
- Examples: heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, and marijuana
- But also legal prescription medications like Xanax, Valium, and Percocet
- The defendant drove a motor vehicle after ingesting the drug
- The defendant’s ability to drive was affected and impaired by the drug
For your first DWAI-Drug charge, it is considered a misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year, a fine between $500 and $1,000, and license suspension for six months. However, your second DWAI-Drug charge within ten years is considered a Class E felony, punishable by a four-year prison sentence, a fine of up to $5,000, and license suspension for a year.
An experienced DWI DUI /DWAI attorney should explain a lower standard for being “impaired” by drugs than for being “intoxicated” by alcohol if your ability to operate your vehicle safely is “impaired” to any extent by the consumption of a scheduled drug than you can be charged with DWAI drugs.