DUI Without Drugs or Alcohol
Can I be Charged with DUI Even if I Have Not Been Drinking?
Yes. You can definitely be charged with a crime if you are intoxicated by other substances, besides alcohol. To illustrate this point, consider champion golfer Tiger Woods’ May 2017 arrest near his home in Florida.
Woods ‘blew’ a 0.00% on his breathalyzer test. Nevertheless, dash cam video from the patrol car shows Woods stumbling and struggling to perform basic field sobriety tests. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors dropped the DUI charges, and he agreed to reckless driving, which has lower charges, in exchange for entering a diversion program.
Misdemeanor vs. Traffic Violation
New York has a complex series of laws that apply to impaired operation of a motor vehicle. First of all, some charges are just traffic infractions that carry minimal penalties, like fines and points on your license. Other types of infractions are considered misdemeanors, which means they are actually criminal charges that carry jail time, severe financial consequences, and can remain on your permanent record.
In New York, Art. 31, Section 1192(3) of the Code states: “No person shall operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition.” This is clear and leaves little room for ambiguity. If you are in an intoxicated condition, you may be charged. People have been convicted for everything from sleeping pills to herbal supplements.
DWAI: Drugs or Combination of Drugs and Alcohol
New York law even specifies that it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of a drugs or any combination of intoxicating substances, including drugs and alcohol.
If you have already been convicted of or pleaded guilty to drug or alcohol-related driving offenses in the past, the law makes your current penalties more severe. New York applies a 10-year look back period, so the prosecutor can ‘look back’ 10 years to see if your record includes other related charges, like DUI, DWAI, and so forth, and if so, it can enhance your sentence. In short, having multiple convictions relating to drunk or impaired driving within a 10-year period can mean heavy fines and lengthy jail sentences.
How can a Long Island Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer at 888-DUI-Lawyer Help?
When you are arrested and charged with a crime, the State of New York is alleging that it can produce enough admissible evidence to prove that you are guilty of the crime they say you committed. Evidence can include things like the police officer’s testimony about what he or she observed during the stop, items discovered in your vehicle, and your own statements during and after the stop.
While a Long Island lawyer can not do much about what took place during the DUI stop, a lawyer can help make sure unlawful evidence is excluded, ensure that police overreaching is limited, and help negotiate with prosecutors to reduce your charges. In some cases, the state’s entire case is based on unlawfully obtained evidence. In these situations, some people can even have charges dropped.
If you are accused of DWI, DUI, DWAI, or any related charges, contact (888) DUI-LAWYER today to speak with an Long Island DUI attorney for a free and confidential consultation about your case. You do not have to take on the police and prosecutors by yourself.