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What You Need to Know About Drug DWIs in New York

In most cases, when people hear the phrases, “driving while intoxicated” or “driving under the influence,” they think of someone who is driving while under the influence of alcohol. While in most cases, this is a fair assumption, it is not always correct. Many people throughout New York State are arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs. Formally, drug DWIs are known as DWAI (Drug), in New York State.  The penalties for these charges range depending on the circumstances of your arrest, though regardless of the penalties you face, our firm is here to help. Please continue reading and speak with our Rockland County criminal defense attorney to learn more about drug DWI charges and how we can assist you if you are facing them. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the consequences of drug DWIs in New York?

As you can imagine, driving while under the influence of drugs comes with very serious consequences, even if this is only your first DWAI (Drug) offense. The penalties for a first-offense DWAI (Drug) offense are as follows:

  • Up to one year of incarceration
  • A potential six-month license suspension
  • A potential $500-$1,000 fine
  • Additional state surcharges and assessment fines

What are the penalties of a second drug DWI charge in NYS?

Second-offense drug DWIs in New York State generally result in Class E Felony charges. For a second DWAI (Drug) within ten years of the first one, you will face the following penalties:

  • Four years of incarceration
  • A potential one-year license revocation
  • Potential enrollment in the IDP
  • A potential $1,000-$5,000 fine
  • Additional state surcharges and fines

Will I lose my license forever if I get a third drug DWI charge in NYS?

If you are convicted of a third drug DWI offense within 10 years of the first offense, you will have to deal with Class D Felony charges. Unfortunately, these charges will most likely impact you for the remainder of your life, as you will spend up to seven years, in jail, you will lose your license for at least one year, you will have to pay a potential $10,000 fine, and you will obtain a criminal record. Having a criminal record has long-lasting effects, which is why if you are currently facing a DWAI (Drug) charge, you must retain the services of an experienced New York criminal defense attorney today.


Kevin T. Conway has over 30 years of experience as a Spring Valley criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need a Rockland County criminal lawyer, contact our Spring Valley office for a free consultation.

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