DWAI Drugs Compared to DWI in Westchester County, New York
Similar to Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (DWAI Drugs) is a criminal offense. A conviction for DWAI Drugs will result in a criminal record, which in the State of New York is on your permanent record for life.
The one significant difference between DWAI Drugs and DWI is that the standard of proof. Under DWAI Drugs, your ability to operate a motor vehicle need only be impaired, not intoxicated as required under the DWI statute. In other words, even though DWAI Drugs is the same level of offense as DWI (a crime) it has the same standard of proof (impairment) as that of the violation of Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI-Alcohol). DWAI-Alcohol is a violation, not a crime, and carries lesser penalties than that of DWI and DWAI-Drugs.
In general, the criminal penalties for a DWAI Drugs conviction are identical to those of DWI, with a critical exception. Due to how the legislature drafted the law, if you are convicted of DWAI Drugs you are not eligible for a conditional license, but you may be eligible for a restricted use license (which is very similar but different from a conditional license). Additionally, the ignition interlock device requirement is not applicable. Typically, the ignition interlock device is installed and monitored by the Probation Department after a DWI conviction.
What should you do if you are Arrested for DWAI Drugs
As with any criminal arrest, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately, so that your rights are protected from the many penalties that result from a DWAI Drugs conviction.
The criminal defense lawyers of Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP have over 50 years combined experience defending individuals charged with DWI, DWAI Drugs, and DWAI Alcohol, throughout the courts of Westchester County, NY. In fact, our experience as former prosecutors with the Westchester County District Attorney's Office gives us unique insight as to how these types of cases are prosecuted and how to best defend against the charges.
That level of experience recently appeared and successfully defended DWAI Drugs charges filed against a client in the White Plains City Court. The client was not only worried about the possibility of a criminal conviction and how it would affect his ability to find employment, he was concerned about his driver's license (something that he needed for his job) being revoked. Fortunately, the client was able to avoid a criminal conviction altogether.
Contact us for an immediate and Free Consultation
Your rights, freedom and ability to drive are too important to leave in the hands of just anyone. Let our DWI defense lawyers assist you. Call (914) 946-4808 for a free consultation and find out how we can help.