In New York, it is just as illegal to drive under the influence of
drugs as it is to drive under the influence of alcohol. It doesn’t
matter if the drugs were legally prescribed to you or not-if they
affect your ability to drive, you can be charged for using them and
then driving. In New York, driving under the influence of drugs is
charged as DWAI-drugs (driving while ability impaired by drugs).
Although it is a separate offense from a DWI, the penalties are the
same. There is also a third category of criminal offense for driving
under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the same time.
To avoid being charged with these offenses, don’t drive on a newly
prescribed prescription drug until you know how it will affect your
mental and physical abilities. This is especially important if you see
warnings on the box such as “May cause dizziness or drowsiness” or a
warning that specifically mentions driving.