A New York City woman has been charged with DUI and multiple related charges connected to a serious auto accident in Paoli, Pennsylvania. The woman was allegedly driving while impaired by a drug, causing a major highway crash in Paoli. According to police reports, the woman’s car crossed over several lanes of traffic and struck a van travelling the opposite way. The head-on collision led to injuries for the van driver and two passengers. Police also allege that the female driver had ingested Klonopin, a drug commonly used to treat seizures and anxiety. The responding officers believed the woman’s drug levels were high enough to cause her impairment and the subsequent crash.  Besides the DUI charge, the NYC woman has been charged with aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle, and recklessly endangering another person.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified impaired driving as a significant concern in all states. According to the NHTSA, “alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes cost more than an estimated $37 billion annually… [and] in 2012 more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes – one every 51 minutes.”  Every state has laws prohibiting impaired driving and consequences for driving impaired or intoxicated are often severe. These laws are designed to discourage impaired or intoxicated driving. Often, charges of vehicular assault or reckless endangerment are tacked onto a DUI or DWI charge when the impaired driver causes an accident. The severity of potential penalties for these additional charges may vary depending on the jurisdiction.

New York drivers can face a charge of vehicular assault (in the first or second degree, depending on the circumstances) and upon conviction can face years in State Prison. Vehicular assault in the second degree applies to drivers who cause serious physical injury to someone else while committing a DWI. Vehicular assault in the first degree is brought against a driver who is guilty of the second degree charge and has at least one of the following additional circumstances:

  • BAC of 0.18% or above;
  • A suspension for an alcohol-related offense in New York or any other jurisdiction;
  • A conviction of an alcohol-related offense within the past 10 years;
  • Causes serious injury to more than one person;
  • Has a conviction for Vehicular Assault, Vehicular Manslaughter, or Vehicular Homicide in New York or any other jurisdiction; or
  • Commits the Vehicular Assault with a child 15 years or younger in the vehicle as a passenger, and causes serious physical injury to such passenger.

Because of the serious nature of vehicular assault charges and the potential for prison time and high fines, among other penalties, any charged driver should hire an experienced DWI attorney. If you have been charged with vehicular assault or any related offense in New York, contact the reputable DWI firm Nave DWI Defense Attorneys. Our attorneys have years of experience helping drivers like you, and will aggressively defend you. Do not try to handle your DWI or similar charge alone; contact us right now for a free case evaluation.

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.