New York Felony Driving While Ability Impaired by the Use of a Drug

Impaired and intoxicated New York drivers can face a variety of charges, including DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DWAI (driving while ability impaired). The charges a driver can face depend on how impaired or intoxicated they are and by what substance they are influenced.  Each charge carries its own set of penalties upon conviction. These charges should be taken seriously because each charge carries heavy penalties.  Drivers with multiple convictions on these charges may be subject to felony charges for any future incidents.  One such charge is Felony DWAI-Drugs.  If convicted of this charge, you can face serious penalties, including time in prison and high fines.

A DWAI-Drugs charge means that a driver was operating a motor vehicle while impaired by the influence of a drug or drugs. This can be proven by any evidence that you are impaired by any drug other than alcohol.  This evidence can include an arresting officer’s observations, a blood test, or other evidence showing your impairment while driving.  It does not matter whether the drug is illegal, legal or prescribed; however the drug must be considered a controlled substance under the New York State Public Health Law.  The basic DWAI-Drug charge can lead to a maximum fine of $1000, up to 1 year in jail, a 3-year period of probation, and revocation of driver’s license for at least 6 months for the first conviction. You will also be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device (or IID) for at least one (1) year.  Drug-impaired drivers with multiple convictions of certain alcohol or drug related offenses may be subject to a Felony DWAI-Drugs charge.

A Felony DWAI-Drugs charge is a type of repeat offender charge.  This charge can be brought against a driver who commits a DWAI Drugs within 10 years of a prior conviction or convictions for an alcohol or drug related driving offense (other than DWAI). The “Class” of Felony with which the driver will be charged is dependent on the number of prior convictions and the time frame in which they occurred.  If convicted of a Felony DWAI-Drugs charge, you can face:

  • A maximum fine of $10,000;
  • Up to 7 years in state prison;
  • A 5-year probation period;
  • Revocation of your driver’s license for a minimum of 1 year; and
  • Requirement to install and maintain an Ignition Interlock Device for at least 1 year.

A felony charge must always be taken seriously because of the potential for harsh penalties. I t is important to remember that once charged, you have rights that will need to be protected.  The best way to protect your rights is to hire an experienced DWAI/DWI lawyer who understands the law as it applies to alcohol and to drugs.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DWAI, DWI, or any alcohol or drug related driving charge, call the lawyers at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys now.  These charges are serious and can result in steep penalties.  We have successfully represented countless New York drivers just like you.  We will aggressively fight to protect your rights and will advocate for the best possible results in your case.  Our dedicated team will explore all of your legal options with you, and personalize legal advice for your case.  Contact us today for a free case evaluation and to get more information.

DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.  Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.  Attorney Advertising.