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Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (DWAI by Drugs)

Experienced, Successful & Reliable Legal Representation

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 type of substance which can affect your mental and physical capabilities is subject to a DWAI charge and there is no specific 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.

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If you have been arrested for a drug-related DWAI, our experienced New York DWI lawyers can provide you with the aggressive and personalized defense necessary to get your charges reduced or your case dismissed entirely. As a former senior prosecutor in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, Attorney Peter Tilem has handled thousands of cases, giving you the advantage of knowing exactly what you’re up against.

Drug-Related DWAI Penalties

It’s important to note that penalties for a DWAI by drugs is not the same as a DWAI by alcohol. The punishment for a drug-related DWAI, or for a combination of drugs and alcohol, are the same as DWI. A DWI attorney in New York can explain the penalties that you may face and how best to fight your charges.

In order 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 10 years is considered a Class E felony, which is punishable by a four-year prison sentence, a fine of up to $5,000, and license suspension for a year.

An experience DWI/DWAI attorney should explain that there is a lower standard for being “impaired” by drugs than for being “intoxicated” by alcohol. If you ability to safely operate your vehicle is “impaired” to any extent by the consumption of a scheduled drug than you can be charged with DWAI drugs.

Let Our New York DWI Attorney Start Building Your Defense

At Tilem & Associates, PC, we are dedicated to protecting the rights, reputations and freedom of all of our clients. With over 25 years of legal experience, we possess the comprehensive knowledge of New York laws and court processes and the experience to help you navigate through the complexities of your case. Let our White Plains based attorneys fight for you today!

Contact us and request a free consultation with a DWI lawyer in New York today.

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