Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs

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Carmel DWAI Lawyer

Defending Clients arrested for Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs in carmel & Putnam County

In New York, a driving while ability impaired (DWAI) charge means that the driver was not legally intoxicated but was still impaired while driving. There are three forms of legal impairment, and they are specific to the substance impairing the driver.

What are the Three Forms of Legal Impairment? 

The three forms of legal impairment include: driving while ability impaired (DWAI), driving while impaired by drugs (DWAI-Drugs), or driving while impaired by drugs & alcohol (DWAI-A/D).

Receive your free consultation from our experienced DWAI attorney in Carmel by calling (845) 584-7033 or contacting us online today! 

Which Drugs are Prohibited Under New York Law? 

A wide variety of drugs and controlled substances are prohibited under New York law. These include controlled substances and drugs prescribed by a doctor if they impair the driver’s ability.

The law includes an extensive listing of drugs, such as:

  • Opiates
  • Depressants
  • Stimulants
  • Hallucinogens that includes both street drugs and prescription medications

Under New York law, the driver must be impaired by drugs to be charged with this offense. As with DWI/DUI charges involving alcohol, the driver does not need to be driving but must be in control of the vehicle. This means that being in the car with the engine running can result in a charge, even if you haven’t driven.

When there is suspicion of impairment, the driver must submit to drug testing, such as urine, blood, or saliva. The Carmel DWAI attorney at The Law Office of Keith R. Murphy provides legal representation for clients charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by drugs in and around the Putnam County area.

Can You Get a DWAI for Marijuana?

Yes, it is still possible to get a DWAI-D in New York for driving under the influence of cannabis, even though recreational use of marijuana has been legalized.

The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law prohibits driving while impaired by drugs, including marijuana. The law specifies that it is illegal to operate a vehicle while "impaired by the use of a drug," which can include marijuana, and sets limits on the amount of certain drugs that can be present in a driver's bloodstream.

Under New York's legalization of marijuana, adults aged 21 and over can legally possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana for personal use, but it is still illegal to drive while impaired by the drug. Law enforcement officers can use field sobriety tests or drug recognition experts to determine if a driver is impaired by marijuana and if they are, they can be arrested and charged with a DWI.

Therefore, while New York has legalized recreational marijuana, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of the drug, and drivers can face DWI charges if they are found to be impaired while operating a vehicle.

What are the Penalties for Driving While Ability Impaired in New York? 

The penalties for Driving While Ability Impaired by drugs (DWAI) are similar to penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol. The number of prior offenses also influences the severity of the consequences for a conviction.

In addition, if an individual is convicted of driving under the influence of drugs and arrested for DWI/DUI in the future, the subsequent arrest would be considered a second offense. Any charge is serious, so don’t wait to contact a Carmel attorney for a defense against driving while impaired in New York.

The consequences for a first DWAI conviction may include:

The consequences for a second DWAI conviction may include:

  • $1,000-$5,000 in fines
  • Up to 4 years in prison
  • Driver's license revocation for at least 1 year

The consequences for a third DWAI conviction may include:

  • $2,000-$10,000 in fines
  • Up to 7 years in prison
  • Driver's license revocation for at least 1 year

What Happens When You Get Your First DWAI?

At The Law Office of Keith R. Murphy, our dedicated team understands the seriousness of a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) charge in New York. If you were charged with a first offense NY DWAI, it is crucial to consult with an experienced Carmel DWAI attorney who can provide you with personalized legal guidance and representation.

Here's what you can expect when facing your first DWAI in NY:

  • Penalties: A DWAI in NY for a first offense is considered a traffic infraction rather than a criminal one, but it carries significant penalties, including a fine of up to $1,000, a day driver's license suspension for several months, and a possible requirement to attend a Drinking Driver Program.
  • Insurance Implications: A first-time DWAI conviction can lead to an increase in your auto insurance premiums. Your insurance provider may view it as a negative factor, potentially resulting in higher rates or even policy cancellation.
  • Criminal Record: Although a DWAI is not a criminal offense, it does become part of your driving record. This record can be accessed by employers, landlords, and other entities, potentially impacting future employment opportunities and other aspects of your life.

Is DWAI a Misdemeanor in NY?

No, Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) is not a misdemeanor in New York. DWAI is a non-criminal traffic infraction and is the least harsh of New York's DWI laws. A DWAI conviction does not result in a criminal record. 

Arrested for DWAI in NY as a first offense? Choose a firm that focuses solely on DWI and drug-related cases, like The Law Office of Keith R. Murphy. This ensures that you receive the specialized expertise you need to build a solid defense. With years of experience handling DWI cases in New York, we have a thorough understanding of the intricacies of DWAI laws and the best defense strategies to employ.

We offer a free, initial consultation to discuss your case, allowing us to understand the specifics and provide you with personal legal advice. With our 24/7 availability, we are here for you whenever you need assistance and support. Contact us today.

Call an Experienced Carmel DWAI Attorney Today

If you or someone you know has been charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol or drugs, you'll want to contact the skilled team at The Law Office of Keith R. Murphy. We have successfully represented many New York drivers with impaired driving charges. Give our Carmel DWAI lawyers a call for a consultation. 

Contact The Law Office of Keith R. Murphy today to schedule a FREE consultation with our DWAI lawyer in Carmel! 


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