In Queens and New York, in general, driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) can result in a person being arrested if it is determined that their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. Driving under the influence of drugs is a huge problem that can result in an arrest even if the individual’s driving was not actually impaired. There are a number of consequences a person can face if they find themselves pulled over and subsequently arrested in Queens.
What is Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in Queens, New York?
In Queens and New York as a whole, driving under the influence of drugs is illegal as it can hinder a person’s ability to drive safely, which puts everyone else on the road at risk. If a person is pulled over by a police officer for any reason, even if it’s something as simple as a broken taillight, and the officer suspects they are intoxicated, there are harsh penalties the individual can face. A police officer can charge a person with a DUI or DWI after administering a breath test (breathalyzer) if they fall under any of these categories:
• The individual is 21 or older and has a BAC of 0.08 or higher
• The person is a commercial driver and has a BAC of 0.04 or higher
• The individual is under the age of 21 and has a BAC of 0.02 or higher
Whether the individual has is under the influence of an illegal drug such as cocaine or something legally prescribed, they can still be arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs.
Penalties and Sentences for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in Queens, New York
A person who is convicted or the crime of driving under the influence of drugs can face stiff penalties, which include anything from seven years in prison and a fine of $125. The exact penalties and sentence a person receives depend on a number of factors, such as level of impairment, past criminal history and others. If someone has a prior DUI or DWI conviction on their record, they can be charged with a felony and receive four years of prison time as well as a maximum fine of $5,000. Additionally, the individual can expect to have their driver’s license temporarily suspended or even permanently revoked.
Additionally, a person who is convicted of this crime can face a number of other consequences. For example, they might be rejected for certain jobs and even prevented from living in certain areas. A conviction can remain with the individual for their lifetime.
Possible Defenses to Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
There are a few defenses that a defense attorney can use in a case of driving under the influence of drugs. One of the most common is to argue that the defendant was not actually driving at the time of the arrest. If the individual was merely sitting in their vehicle, the defense can argue that they did not commit the crime of which they have been charged.
Another popular defense is to argue that the defendant was not under the influence of drugs but that they were suffering from an illness. It’s even possible to argue that the individual was simply distracted or fatigued while driving, but not under the influence.
Alternatives to Prison Sentences
Although there are always serious penalties for driving under the influence of drugs, it is possible to receive an alternative to a prison sentence. One option is for the defense attorney to request of the judge that the defendant be ordered to attend a drug rehabilitation program. The individual may also be sentenced to community service if it is their first offense. The defense attorney may even have witnesses testify and present evidence to prove the person’s character to strengthen the case against them.
These charges are very serious in Queens and New York as a whole and can be challenging to defend against, which means it’s absolutely essential for anyone arrested for driving under the influence of drugs to retain an experienced attorney.