Arrested For DUI While High On Drugs?

Prescription Bottle and Pills

Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, also known as DWAI/Drugs, is a common offense in the State of New York. Unfortunately, a DUI arrest involving the use of drugs can lead to serious consequences if it is not handled properly.

Our New York DUI lawyers have helped countless drivers arrested for driving under the influence of controlled substances or drugs in the past.

Read below to learn more about the laws regarding driving under the influence of drugs or contact our legal team to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney today.

Driving While Ability Impaired By Drugs

DWAI - Drug IconOperating 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, Oxycotin and other pain-killers. 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 & 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 DWAI/Combination and can include the use of illegal narcotics as well as the use of standard prescription drugs.

What Are The Penalties & Fines For Drug-related DWI Charges?

The penalties associated with a DUI 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 Combined Influence in New York can face serious penalties including:

  • 6 month license suspension
  • $500 – $1,000 mandatory fine
  • Up to 1 year of jail time
  • $250 minimum annual assessment fine for 3 years
  • Possible enrollment in New York 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/Combined offense can face harsh penalties including:

  • 1 year minimum license revocation
  • $1,000 – $5,000 mandatory fine
  • Up to 4 years of jail time
  • $250 minimum annual assessment fine for 3 years
  • Possible enrollment in New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP)

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:

  • 1 year minimum license revocation
  • $2,000 – $10,000 mandatory fine
  • Up to 7 years of jail time
  • $250 minimum annual assessment fine for 3 years
  • Possible enrollment in New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP)

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 are legally prescribed to 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 are legally prescribed to the medication.

New York’s DWI laws prohibit drivers from operating a vehicle while impaired by a long list of “drugs” or “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 1-year license suspension and a $500 fine. Individuals who refuse to a chemical test within 5 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 DUI 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 there are many alternative legal options that can be pursued following a DUI arrest in New York with the help of a qualified lawyer.

DUI Defense Lawyers In New York

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

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

At DUI Legal NY, our team of experienced DWI defense attorneys have helped defend the rights of drivers throughout the State of New York for decades. We’ve successfully represented clients who have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

You can contact our team of New York DUI defense attorneys for a free consultation today. We can help you explore all of your legal options and formulate a strategic plan based on your specific circumstances.