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Drugs and Driving

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.

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