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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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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

By Spodek Law Group | May 2, 2017
(Last Updated On: October 15, 2023)

Last Updated on: 15th October 2023, 12:54 pm

Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol and Drugs in New York

Getting behind the wheel while impaired by any substance is dangerous and illegal in New York. Many people are familiar with driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws that prohibit driving after drinking alcohol. However, New York also has laws that specifically prohibit driving while impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol.

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192.4-a makes it a crime to drive while your ability is impaired by the combined influence of drugs or alcohol and any drugs. This law covers situations where you have taken multiple drugs that impair your driving, or you have mixed drugs with alcohol before driving. Let’s take a closer look at this law and what it means for drivers in New York.

What Does the Law Prohibit?

Under VTL 1192.4-a, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while your ability to drive is impaired by:

  • The combined influence of multiple drugs
  • The combined influence of alcohol and any drug or drugs

This law covers any situation where you have taken two or more substances that impair your ability to drive safely. The substances could include illegal drugs, prescription medications, or over-the-counter medications. It does not matter if you have a valid prescription – taking those drugs and driving can still be illegal if it impairs your driving ability.

Penalties for VTL 1192.4-a

A first conviction under VTL 1192.4-a is a misdemeanor offense. The penalties include:

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Fines of $500 – $1000
  • License suspension for at least 6 months
  • Possible community service
  • Possible probation up to 3 years

Harsher penalties apply if you have prior convictions for DWI-related offenses within the past 10 years. A second conviction becomes a class E felony, while a third conviction is a class D felony.[3]

Defending Against VTL 1192.4-a Charges

There are viable defenses against charges under this law. A skilled New York DWI defense lawyer can review the details of your case and determine the best defense strategy. Here are some examples of potential defenses:

  • No probable cause for traffic stop – Any evidence obtained after an unlawful traffic stop can be suppressed. If there was no valid reason to pull you over, the entire case could potentially be dismissed.
  • No actual impairment – The prosecution must still prove you were impaired and not just that drugs were present in your system. You may be able to argue the drugs did not impair your driving ability based on your performance on sobriety testing.
  • Illegal blood draw – Blood evidence can be suppressed if your consent or the blood draw itself was not conducted properly according to New York law.
  • Inaccurate blood testing – Faulty storage or testing of your blood sample could undermine the accuracy of blood test results.

An experienced DWI lawyer can thoroughly analyze the details of your traffic stop, testing procedures, and other evidence to build the strongest defense for your case.

Get Help from a New York DWI Lawyer

Driving while impaired by any substance is dangerous and against New York law. The penalties for VTL 1192.4-a convictions can be severe, especially for repeat offenses. Never ignore a DWI charge – get help from an attorney as soon as possible.

A skilled New York DWI defense lawyer understands the complexities of defending drug and alcohol-related driving cases. They can carefully examine the evidence, advise you of your rights and defense options, and represent your best interests in and out of court. Don’t leave your future to chance – get experienced legal help fighting your DWI charges.

In New York, if you’re charged with driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, the consequences you face will depend on the circumstances of your case, your background, and whether you have prior convictions. But it’s possible that you may lose your driving privileges, face jail time, or even be charged with a felony. However, you can fight your charges with the help of an experienced attorney.

Regarding driving while impaired by drugs, the seriousness of the charge largely depends on the type and amount of drugs in your system, as well as whether you’re taking legal prescription medications or illegal substances. New York has “per se” laws that make it easier to prosecute drivers under the influence of drugs. A criminal attorney can help you defend against these charges by examining the reasons for the traffic stop, the type of drugs you were using, and their potential effects on your driving ability.

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