Rockland County DWI Drug Lawyer
Although a DWI usually refers to drunk driving, state law also makes it illegal to drive while impaired by drugs, regardless of whether they are prescription drugs or illicit drugs. As the consequences of a drugged driving conviction can negatively impact your future, you should consult a Rockland County DWI drug lawyer for legal assistance.
With a driving while ability impaired by drugs conviction on your record, you may be ineligible for certain jobs, careers, and professional licenses. You also may experience difficulties finding housing and getting credit. An aggressive DWI defense lawyer can explain all possible ramifications of a DWAI conviction and assist you in your defense.
Driving While Ability Impaired by Drug Offenses
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192(4) makes it illegal for individuals to drive while their ability to drive is impaired by drug use, or, under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192(4-a), by the combined use of alcohol and drugs. Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192(12), it is aggravated DWAI by drugs if this behavior results in serious physical injury to another person, or while a child who is 15 years old or less is present in the vehicle.
Although an individual may have a prescription for controlled substances, such as opiates, they still cannot drive while impaired by these drugs. This is the case even if they took no more than the prescribed dosage. Since the outcome of DWAI by drugs charges can be severe, it is important to get the advice of a DWI drug lawyer in Rockland County.
Proving DWAI by Drugs in Rockland County
Police officers quickly can test for DWI by administering various tests to measure blood alcohol content (BAC). However, establishing DWAI by drugs is more challenging. A roadside test to measure the extent of impairment of drugs is not available. Therefore, prosecutors must rely on other evidence to show proof of impairment by drugs, such as:
- Admission by drivers that they used drugs
- Drugs found on the drivers or in their vehicles
- Blood tests showing the presence of drugs in their systems
- The odor of some drugs, such as marijuana
If a driver refuses to take a breathalyzer test when stopped by police, they may face an automatic license suspension. If they refuse to take a blood test to detect the presence of drugs, they also may face a suspension.
Potential Penalties for Drug DWIs
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1193(a)(2) sets forth the penalties for DWAI by drugs, which is a misdemeanor offense. Potential penalties include a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000, a jail sentence of up to one year, or both. Individuals may also face a six-month license suspension for a first DWAI by drugs conviction.
If someone has a prior DWI conviction or related convictions, they will generally face Class E felony charges for a new DWAI by drugs charge. Anyone convicted of a Class E felony may receive a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000, as well as a period of incarceration of up to four years and a license revocation of at least one year.
If a person accrues two convictions within ten years or three convictions within 15 years, they can face Class D felony charges. A conviction can result in a fine ranging from $2,000 to $10,000, a period of incarceration of up to seven years, and a license revocation of at least one year.
A Rockland County DWI Drug Attorney Can Help
Avoiding or minimizing the impact of a DWAI by drugs conviction can be essential to your future, both personally and professionally. An inability to drive can make your everyday life more challenging and make employment extremely difficult. Working with a Rockland County DWI drug lawyer may be the most effective way to defend yourself against these charges. Call today to discuss your case.