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Drug Charges

Driving while ability impaired by drugs (DWAI/Drugs) is a common offense in the state of New York. Unfortunately, a DWAI arrest involving the use of drugs can lead to serious consequences if it is not handled properly.

Attorney Francis X Casale Jr. has helped countless drivers arrested for driving under the influence of controlled substances or drugs for years. Read below to learn more about the laws regarding DWAI/Drugs, or contact The Law Offices of Francis X Casale, Jr. PLLC to schedule a free consultation with an experienced driving while intoxicated (DWI) defense attorney today.

Driving While Ability Impaired By Drugs

Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of controlled substances or drugs is illegal in the state of New York. You can be arrested on DWAI/Drugs charges if your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is impaired in any way by the use of certain drugs.

Many drivers are arrested for DWAI/Drugs after consuming prescription medication like Vicodin, OxyContin and other painkillers. Even prescription drugs like Ambien and other common sleep aids can lead to a DWAI/Drugs arrest.

Driving While Ability Impaired By A Combination Of Drugs And Alcohol

Drivers in the state of New York may also be arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of both alcohol and drugs. This offense is commonly referred to as driving while ability impaired by a combined influence of drugs or alcohol (DWAI/Combination) and can include the use of illegal narcotics as well as the use of standard prescription drugs.

What Are The Penalties And Fines For Drug-Related DWI Charges?

The penalties associated with a DWI arrest involving controlled substances can depend on several factors, including any previous convictions for DWI offenses that you may have on your record.

Penalties For DWAI/Drugs

The penalties associated with DWAI/Drugs and DWAI/Combination charges are essentially the same as the penalties associated with a standard DWI charge in New York:

First-Offense Charge

Drivers convicted of a DWAI/Drugs or DWAI/Combination in New York can face serious penalties, including:

  • Six-month license suspension
  • $500 to $1,000 mandatory fine
  • Up to one year of jail time
  • $250 minimum annual assessment fine for three years
  • Possible enrollment in the New York Impaired Driver Program (IDP), formerly known as the Drinking Driver Program (DDP)

Second-Offense Charge

A second-offense DWAI offense is considered a Class E felony in the state of New York. As a result, motorists convicted of a second DWAI/Drugs or DWAI/Combination offense can face harsh penalties, including:

  • One-year minimum license revocation
  • $1,000 to $5,000 mandatory fine
  • Up to four years of jail time
  • $250 minimum annual assessment fine for three years
  • Possible enrollment in the IDP

Third-Offense Charge

Individuals convicted of driving under the influence of drugs for a third time are charged with a Class D felony and face increased penalties, including:

  • One-year minimum license revocation
  • $2,000 to $10,000 mandatory fine
  • Up to seven years of jail time
  • $250 minimum annual assessment fine for three years
  • Possible enrollment in the IDP

Frequently Asked Questions About DWAI/Drugs

The following section includes a list of common questions about DWI laws in New York.

What is a controlled substance?

A controlled substance is a drug or a chemical that is regulated in some way by the government. In the United States, a controlled substance can refer to any prescription drug or illegal narcotic whose manufacture, sale, possession or use is regulated.

Is it illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in New York?

Yes, it is illegal for drivers in New York to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana. Even individuals who have legal prescriptions for medical marijuana can be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs.

Is it illegal to drive while taking a prescription medication?

Yes, it can be illegal to drive under the influence of certain prescription medications, such as painkillers or sleeping aids, even if you have a legal prescription for the medication.

New York’s DWI laws prohibit drivers from operating a vehicle while impaired by a long list of drugs and controlled substances, including hallucinogens, depressants, stimulants, opiates and more. The complete list of drugs and substances that are prohibited can be found under Section 3306 of the New York Public Health Law.

Can I refuse a chemical test for drugs or alcohol?

New York has an implied consent law that applies to chemical tests for both alcohol and drugs. Drivers who refuse to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining alleged intoxication are automatically subject to a one-year license suspension and a $500 fine. Individuals who refuse to take a chemical test within five years of a previous refusal or DWI conviction are subject to a minimum 18-month license suspension and $750 fine.

What are my legal options after a DWI arrest?

Too many drivers facing DWI charges believe that their only legal option is to plead guilty to the charges and accept the full consequences of a conviction. However, the truth is that, with the help of a qualified lawyer, there are many alternative legal options that can be pursued following a DWI arrest in New York.

DWI Defense Lawyer In New York

Are you facing DWI charges in the state of New York? A DWI conviction can have serious consequences, including expensive fines, a suspended license, a permanent criminal record and more.

However, not all drivers arrested on DWI charges are convicted of those charges, and many drivers are able to successfully challenge their DWI arrests with the help of experienced DWI defense lawyers.

Attorney Casale has helped defend the rights of drivers throughout the state of New York for decades. He has successfully represented clients who have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Contact The Law Offices Of Francis X Casale, Jr. PLLC

Contact New York DUI defense attorney Casale for a free consultation today. He can help you explore all your legal options and formulate a strategic plan based on your specific circumstances. Call 631-293-3332 or fill out the online contact form.