Defending DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination Charges in New York State: Strategies and Considerations
DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination is a traffic violation in New York State that occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle while their ability to do so is impaired by the combined influence of drugs and alcohol. This can include prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, illegal drugs, and alcohol.
The penalties for a DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination conviction in New York State vary depending on the number of prior offenses. For a first offense, the penalties include:
- A fine of $500 to $1,000
- Up to 1 year in jail
- A 6-month license revocation
- Required attendance at a drug and alcohol treatment program
For subsequent offenses, the penalties are more severe. For example, a second offense within 10 years is a felony, punishable by a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, up to 4 years in jail, and a 1-year license revocation.
There are a number of defenses that can be raised to a DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination charge. Some common defenses include:
- The drugs or alcohol were taken involuntarily.
- The drugs or alcohol did not impair the defendant’s ability to drive safely.
- The defendant was not driving at the time of arrest.
- The police did not have probable cause to stop or arrest the defendant.
- The chemical test results were inaccurate.
Penalties for a DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination Charge in New York State
The penalties for a DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination charge in New York State are as follows:
- Fine: $500-$1,000
- Jail time: Up to 1 year
- License suspension: 90 days
If you have a prior DWAI or DWI conviction within the past 10 years, the penalties will be more severe. For a second offense, you could face a fine of $1,000-$5,000, up to 4 years in jail, and a license suspension of at least 1 year. For a third offense within 10 years, you could face a fine of $2,000-$10,000, up to 7 years in jail, and a license suspension of at least 1 year.
In addition to the criminal penalties, you will also have to pay a surcharge to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The surcharge is $260 for a first offense and $400 for a subsequent offense.
If you are convicted of DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination, you will also be required to attend a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. The length of the program will vary depending on your individual circumstances.
Building a Robust Defense Strategy
Evaluating the Traffic Stop: The foundation of any DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination defense begins with a thorough examination of the traffic stop. Was there probable cause to initiate the stop? Were the proper procedures followed by law enforcement? Any violations of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights can significantly impact the case’s validity.
Challenging Sobriety Tests: DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination cases often involve field sobriety tests, which can be subjective and prone to human error. Our experienced attorneys meticulously scrutinize the administration of these tests to identify any inconsistencies or improper procedures that could undermine their reliability.
Questioning Chemical Tests: Chemical tests, such as breathalyzers, urine or blood tests, are crucial pieces of evidence in DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination cases. However, these tests are not infallible. Our legal team will investigate whether the testing equipment was properly calibrated, maintained, and operated by certified personnel. If there are discrepancies, the validity of the test results can be called into question.
Medical Conditions and Prescription Medications: Some medical conditions and prescription medications can lead to impaired driving without the presence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Our defense strategy explores the possibility of a medical condition or medication affecting the defendant’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Constructing Alternative Explanations: We work closely with our clients to gather detailed accounts of the events leading up to their DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination charge. By understanding the context and circumstances, we can build alternative explanations for their behavior that may not necessarily point to impairment.
Our legal team is well-versed in the nuanced laws of New York State, including its DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination statutes and sentencing guidelines. Depending on the specifics of the case, we can pursue various legal avenues:
Negotiating Reductions: Through skillful negotiation, we aim to secure reductions in charges or penalties, such as obtaining a plea deal to a lesser offense or pursuing enrollment in a substance abuse education program.
Challenging Evidence in Court: If necessary, we are prepared to take the case to trial. Our experienced litigators will present a strong defense, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge evidence in court to achieve the best possible outcome.
Protecting Driving Privileges: DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination convictions can result in the suspension or revocation of driving privileges. We will advocate for our clients to retain their driving rights whenever possible.
Facing a DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination charge in New York State can be a daunting experience, but the DWI Team is dedicated to providing unwavering support and exceptional legal representation. Our extensive knowledge of the legal landscape, combined with our commitment to protecting clients’ rights, empowers us to construct robust defense strategies tailored to each unique case. From dissecting the traffic stop to challenging sobriety tests and negotiating favorable outcomes, we stand as the shield against DWAI: Drugs/Alcohol Combination charges, advocating for the best interests of our clients at every turn.