Although drunk driving charges are seen as something that happens after a person ingests too much alcohol and gets caught, you should know that penalties for driving under the influence also apply to those who are impaired by drugs.
Whether those drugs are illicit or legal makes no difference. If they make it so that you cannot drive safely, you’ll face serious repercussions if you get caught driving.
Like drunk driving, driving while drugged is also an offense with potentially harsh penalties. A first offense DWI is a misdemeanor that can cost you a minimum of $500 in fines and up to $1,000. You may also be imprisoned (though there is no minimum sentence), and face up to six months of license revocation.
A second conviction within 10 years is a felony offense, which is surprising to many people facing charges. Second-offense felonies have fines of at least $1,000 and imprisonment for up to four years. If you are convicted, then you could also lose your license for a minimum of a year.
New York even specifies that driving while impaired by alcohol and drugs, a combination offense, has its own set of penalties. These line up with drunk driving offenses or drugged driving offenses separately.
If you’re facing charges for a DWI or DWAI, it’s worth looking into all of your defense options. If you don’t defend yourself, you could find that you face unfair treatment or receive penalties that you truly don’t deserve. Our website has more on what to do if you’re stopped by the police and face charges.
Fields marked with an * are required
"*" indicates required fields