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What Are The Penalties In New York For A DWI Prescription Drug Charge?

It would be exactly the same as with alcohol. The person would suffer a license revocation for 6 months if they were found to be impaired by a drug or a combination of drugs and alcohol, and it was their first offense or it was their first offense within 10 years of another offense. In addition they would face up to 1 year in jail, up to 3 years of probation, up to $1,000 fine, or a combination of those.

The charge would get elevated to a felony charge if the person had prior offenses within 10 years, and they might have to go to jail for up to 4 years and the fines would increase. If there was no alcohol and no drugs, then obviously the person would be successful along those lines of having no repercussions other than of course if they had refused to take any tests, in which case they could get their criminal case dismissed and still lose their license for the year.

Does New York Require The Interlock Ignition For Any DWI Charge Including Prescription?

No, the interlock device would only be needed if there was an accusation of alcohol. Anyone who blew for alcohol would have to have it. If it was a combination of alcohol or drugs, it would be discretionary on the part of the court regarding whether or not the person had to have it.

Most judges look at how much alcohol was involved, so if the person blew a decent number over a .08, like if they blew a .15 and they have drugs, then they would most probably end up with that interlock device in there. If there were only drugs involved, then there would be no reason for an interlock device because the interlock would only be there for the detection of alcohol.

How Does This Differ From Other States?

Some states are a 2 breath sample states, whereas New York is a 1 shot only state. The person would blow once and that would be it, which is not really fair either. There are pros and cons to our statutes and the way the tests are given.

Besides The Penalties And Potential Jail Time, What Are The Consequences Of A DWI With Prescription Drugs?

Anybody would be able to see there was a conviction, or the person might have to mention they had been convicted of a crime. An employer who saw this on a fingerprint check or if they ran a background check would only see that the person was driving while intoxicated. They may not see whether it was by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two. It would be up to the individual then to inform them whether it was drugs or alcohol. Sometimes the person may not want to tell the employer what it was, or depending on what the drug was, they may.

What effect this has would depend on the individual employer. When the person filled out an employment application, it would ask whether the person had ever been convicted of a crime, and in this case the answer would be yes. It would then ask what the crime was. It would then be up to the potential applicant to tell them whether they wanted to mention if the DWI was by drugs, alcohol, or something else. It would be hard to predict what effect that would have but it would certainly come up under the heading driving while intoxicated even if it was by drugs.

How Does This Play Out For Medical Professionals Or Nurses Who Handle Prescription Drugs?

They would not lose their license in New York state for a DWI. There are certain parameters for licensed professionals like doctors, nurses or school teachers, where their employer would ask for more particulars.

For example, if it turned out the doctor or the nurse or somebody in the hospital was abusing drugs, then there would be positions in place to help these people. They may only get suspended from work and their employer may help them to get into rehab. It would depend on which drug it was and where the drug came from.

It could also lead to an investigation that the doctor or nurse was stealing drugs from the hospital or the facility. There are a lot of collateral consequences that could come from being arrested for DWI and then the prosecution of it because if it was a drug, then it would raise the question of whose it is and where the drugs came from. It would be hard for everyone to be able to tell where it came from.

Would The Arrest Still Show Up On The Record Even If The Person Was Cleared Of Misusing Drugs?

It is not supposed to show up, because although New York has no expungement statues, if a case was dismissed or if the client went to trial and was found not guilty then everything about the case would have to be sealed. The arrest itself should not show up, but whether or not that is always the story is unknown because sometimes they forget. If the case was thrown out or dismissed for any reason, then that arrest would not show up and nothing else should show up about it. Fingerprints would have to be destroyed, the mug shots would be destroyed and everything about the record would be sealed.

For more information on DUI Prescription Medication Penalties, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (516) 679-0400 today.