DWAI Impaired By Drugs

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Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (DWAI by Drugs)

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.

THIRD-TIME DUI/DWI?

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.

DRUG DWAI

Again, there is the possibility of a jail sentence, but the maximum is one year. Finally, for a first-time DWAI with drugs, the driver will have their license suspended for at least six months.


If the DWAI is based on a combination of alcohol and drugs, the fine and jail terms are the same, but the driver will have their license revoked for at least six months.

ALCOHOL DWAI

For a DWAI specifically for alcohol, the acceptable ranges from $300 to $500. The maximum potential jail sentence is 15 days. Lastly, the driver will have their license suspended for 90 days. Under the zero-tolerance law, the driver has to pay a $125 civil fee and a $100 fee to terminate the suspension. There is no jail time, but the license will be suspended for six months.

Let Our New York DWI Attorney Start Building Your Defense

At The Kugel Law Firm, we are dedicated to protecting all of our client’s rights, reputations, and freedom. With over
25 years of legal experience, we possess the comprehensive knowledge of New York laws and court processes and
the expertise to help you navigate through the complexities of your case. Let our The Kugel Law Firm-New York-based
attorneys fight for you today.


Schedule a no-cost, no-risk case consultation with the Leading New York-New Jersey DUI / DWI Law Firm,

The Kugel Law Firm   

New York (212) 372-7218  New Jersey (973) 854-0098 

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