New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.4-a: Driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs

In addition to there being laws addressing driving while under the influence of alcohol and being under the influence of drugs, New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.4-a addresses driving while being under the influence of both drugs and alcohol or a combination of drugs. In order to be convicted of this crime the prosecutor must be able to show that at the time you were driving you were under the influence of drugs and alcohol, or a combination of drugs. To face prosecution under this statute it does not matter if you were impaired by an illegal drug or by a legally obtained prescription drug.

Example

A man rear ends another car while driving at a high speed. When he was in the process of being extricated from his car, an empty bottle marked methadone fell out of his jacket, along with needles, packages of what appeared to be marijuana, and a vial of a white powder. The paramedic who treated the man at the scene described him as lethargic and irrational. Based on the man's demeanor and the drugs on his person, the paramedic concluded that the man was likely high on drugs. Blood tests later showed that the man had ingested ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana and ketamine a few hours prior to the accident and that at the time of the accident he was actively under the influence of ecstasy, marijuana, ketamine and methadone. Based on this the man could face a charge of driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs in violation of New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.4-a.

Related Offenses
  1. Driving while ability impaired: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.1
  2. Driving while intoxicated; per se: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.2
  3. Aggravated driving while intoxicated; per se: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.2-a(a)
  4. Aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.2-a(b)
  5. Driving while ability impaired by drugs: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.4
Defenses

Before a police officer can pull a car over for any reason that officer must have probable cause for doing so. This means that the officer must believe that you have committed a crime. For example, if you are speeding, driving at an unreasonably slow rate, are driving recklessly, or if the officer recognizes your vehicle as being reported stolen, then the officer would have probable cause to pull you over. If you believe that the driver did not have probable cause, then all evidence resulting from that stop would be inadmissible, making it difficult for the prosecutor to move forward with prosecuting you on a charge of driving while impaired.

Sentence

If it is your first offense, driving while impaired by combination is a misdemeanor. The sentence will include the payment of a fine of $500-$1,000, a jail term of up to 1 year, or both. Your driver's license will be suspended for at least 6 months.

If it is your second conviction within the prior 10 years, the offense will be considered a class E felony. The punishment will be a fine of $1,000-$5,000 and imprisonment of up to 4 years. Your license will be revoked for at least 1 year.

For your third conviction the offense will be considered a class D felony. You will be required to pay a fine of $2,000-$10,000 and you will be sentenced to a prison term of up to 7 years. Your license will be revoked for at least 1 year.

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.4-a: Driving while impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs

No person shall operate a motor vehicle while the person's ability to operate such motor vehicle is impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs.

The Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help

If you are charged with driving while impaired by the combined influence of drugs as a misdemeanor, you should take it seriously. You could send up in jail and you will lose your driving privileges. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with reckless driving, DUI, vehicular homicide, and other serious crimes. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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