In New York State you can be accused and convicted of a crime called, Driving While Intoxicated by Alcohol. There’s also a crime called, Driving While Impaired by Drugs. There is also a crime now that combines the two, Driving While Impaired by a Combination of Alcohol and Drugs.
The important thing to understand is driving intoxicated by alcohol is held at a higher standard. Incapable of driving your vehicle as any other person sober would have done so, incapable. Impaired driving means just that. Any reduce or impairment of your driving abilities.
Now, impaired by drugs means you can be criminally prosecuted if a drug; it can be a controlled substance by a prescription by your physician. It could be over-the-counter, or an illegal drug. If it impairs, to any extent your ability to drive a car, you can be convicted of Impaired Driving in New York State.
Contrast that with alcohol. Alcohol driving, to be convicted requires intoxication, and incapable of driving your car, while impairment by drugs requires just that, impaired.
If you are charged with Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired By A Drug (DWAI-Drug) in New York State, you receive a mandatory fine between $500 and $1,000 as well as a maximum jail time. In both instances, your license is revoked or suspended for at least six months.
There is also a violation known as driving while ability impaired by a combination of alcohol and drugs (DWAI-Combination) which requires those who are convicted of this crime to pay a mandatory fine of anywhere between $500-$1,000 and a maximum jail term of one year. In addition, this combination charge will revoke your license for at least six months, possibly more.
If you are in need of legal counsel in New York State, please feel free to contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. and we would be happy to assist you.