- DWAI/Drug, driving a vehicle while a person’s ability to operate the vehicle is impaired by drug usage
- DWAI/Combination, driving a vehicle while a person’s ability to operate the vehicle is impaired by the influence of drugs and alcohol
In DWAI by drug cases, drugs include anything legally defined as a controlled substance. Per NY Public Health Laws § 3306, controlled substances include:
- And more
Penalties for DWAI by Drug Convictions
If convicted of a drug-related driving offense, the offender faces serious fines and jail time. They can also lose their state driver’s license. Specific consequences are as follows:
- First-time DWAI-Drug and DWAI-Combination convictions are punishable by fines of $500-$1,000, imprisonment for up to a year, and driver’s license revocation for at least 6 months.
- Second-time DWAI-Drug and DWAI-Combination convictions (within 10 years of the first) are punishable by fines of $1,000-$5,000, imprisonment for up to 4 years, and driver’s license revocation for at least 1 year.
- Third-time DWAI-Drug and DWAI-Combination convictions (within 10 years) are punishable by fines of $2,000-$10,000, imprisonment for up to 7 years, and driver’s license revocation for at least 1 year.
Per NY Vehicle and Traffic Laws § 1199, those convicted must also complete a driver responsibility assessment, which costs $250 each year, for 3 years. Additionally, offenders may be required to submit to a mandatory alcohol and drug screening and/or assessment (see NY Vehicle and Traffic Laws § 1198-A). Offenders with multiple convictions within 25 years also face more severe penalties.
It is important to note that the penalties can also vary for those who refuse a chemical test. Per NY Vehicle and Traffic Laws § 1194, drivers give implied consent to a chemical test (typically of blood, urine, saliva, or breath) by or under the direction of a police officer. Typically, chemical tests are administered at a police station following an arrest.
While the lack of a chemical test can hinder the prosecution’s ability to prove DWAI-related charges, the courts can still penalize you for your refusal. If someone refuses a chemical test, they face charges punishable by fines, imprisonment, and driver’s license revocation.
- For a first-time refusal, an offender faces $500 (or $550 for commercial drivers) of civil fines and driver’s license revocation for 1 year (or 18 months if they have a CDL).
- For subsequent refusals (within 5 years of a previous chemical test refusal or other DWAI-related charge), an offender faces $750 of civil fines and driver’s license revocation for at least 18 months (or permanently for commercial drivers with a CDL).
Contact Our DWAI Drug Attorneys
DWAI by drug charges should be taken seriously. If convicted, an offender’s life can change forever. A criminal record appears on background checks, which can affect job prospects, rental opportunities, and more. A conviction can also affect certain privileges such as firearm rights.
At Letterio & Haug, LLP, we are equipped to help you protect your rights and freedoms. If you or a loved one has been charged with DWAI by drugs, you should immediately contact our legal team so we can help you:
- Prepare a legal defense strategy (such as involuntary consumption of drugs or accidentally taking more medicine than prescribed)
- Answer any questions you may have about what to expect during the process ahead
- Understand your legal options and the different possible outcomes of your case
- And more
We defend clients accused of driving while ability impaired by drugs in cases involving the following illegal substances:
- Unauthorized prescription drugs
To schedule your case consultation, contact us online or via phone at (845) 203-0997. Our team has nearly two decades of combined experience to put on your side.