Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
By DWI Attorney Ramy Louis, Esq.
In New York, it is not only a crime to drink and drive, but the law also prohibits you from driving while under the influence of drugs. Driving under the influence of drugs is a violation of Vehicle and Traffic section 1192 (4), which says: "No person shall operate a motor vehicle while the person's ability to operate such a motor vehicle is impaired by the use of a drug as defined in this chapter." "As defined in this chapter" is a reference to section 3306 of the Public Health Law, which lists an extensive list of controlled substances.
In order to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of this law, the District Attorney's Office must prove four things:
- That you ingested a drug,
- The drug you ingested is listed under section 3306 of the Public Health Law,
- After ingesting the drug you operated a motor vehicle,
- While operating the motor vehicle your ability to operate it was impaired by the ingestion of the drug.
People v. Kahn, 610 N.Y.S.2d 701 (Nassau Co. Dist. Ct. 1994).
It is actually easier for the District Attorney's Office to prove that you violated this law than proving that you committed a DWI (alcohol). This is because the District Attorney does not need to prove that you were "intoxicated" but instead, only that your ability to drive was "impaired" to any extent by drugs. It is a lower standard than proving a DWI by alcohol. It is important to remember if you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance not listed in section 3306 of the Public Health Law, then you cannot be found guilty under Vehicle and Traffic section 1192 (4). This means that if you are accused of being under the influence of a typical over the counter cough syrup, you cannot be charged under 1192 (4) .
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs is a misdemeanor and would you a criminal record if you are convicted. Are you facing a Driving Under the Influence of Drugs charge in New York? Contact us to schedule a case evualuation.