DWI Charges in New York: Alcohol and Drug Impairment Legal Ramifications

Not only can you get arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) on alcohol in New York, but you can also face criminal charges for driving under the influence of both legal and illegal drugs. Common types of controlled substances include narcotics, opiates, stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens.

The following are the two types of drugged driving offenses in New York: 

  • Drug-DWAI – Driving a vehicle while your faculties are impaired by drugs

  • Combination-DWAI – Driving a vehicle while your faculties are impaired by a combination of alcohol and drugs

Even if a driver has a valid prescription for a specific drug, he/she can still be arrested for drugged driving despite following the doctor’s orders. Even the side effects of prescribed medication can impact your ability to operate a vehicle.

If convicted of a Drug-DWAI and Combination-DWAI, the penalties are similar to those imposed for an alcohol-related DWI charge. However, individuals convicted of drugged driving are not eligible for a conditional license (that allows motorists to drive to and from work and classes) and the ignition interlock device (IID) does not apply to such cases.

A first Drug-DWAI and Combination-DWAI offense is a misdemeanor, which carries a jail term of up to one year, a maximum fine of $1,000, and driver’s license suspension for at least six months. A second offense within a ten-year period is a Class E felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to four years, a maximum fine of $5,000, and driver’s license suspension for at least one year. A third conviction within ten years is a Class D felony, which carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years, a fine of up to $10,000, and driver’s license suspension for at least one year.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for drugged driving in Albany or within the surrounding area, contact O’Brien & Eggleston PLLC today at 518-391-2369 for a free consultation. Get more than 25 years of collective experience on your side! 

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