When you hear someone was charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you might immediately think of alcohol use. However, Anthony DeFazio, a criminal defense attorney in New York’s Hudson Valley, says it's important to know a DUI arrest isn’t always a result of alcoholic beverage intoxication. The founder of Anthony DeFazio Law, P.C. explains how other substances can lead to this charge.
In New York, DUI is called driving while intoxicated (DWI). Drivers charged with DWI could be under the influence of alcohol, a single drug, or a combination of alcohol and drugs. Breath, blood, and urine tests reveal whether a driver has these substances in their system.
When a drug impairs a motorist’s ability, they are charged with driving while ability impaired by a single drug other than alcohol (DWAI). The drug could be an illegal controlled substance, such as cocaine, marijuana, or heroin. Drivers taking prescription drugs like the pain reliever OxyContin™, sedatives and antidepressants such as Valium™, or sleep-inducing drugs like Ambien™ are at risk of DWAI arrests.
Taking nonprescription drugs like antihistamines for allergies and decongestants for blocked sinuses also can impair a driver’s coordination and concentration. Over-the-counter medications containing alcohol, such as cough syrups and cold relief liquids, also can lead to charges of DWAI by a combined influence of drugs or mixture of drugs and alcohol.
A DUI charge can happen even if you’re taking your medication responsibly. For your health and safety and the well-being of others on the roads, talk with your doctor or pharmacist before you drive while using prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
When you call Anthony DeFazio Law P.C. with questions about a DUI, DWI, or DWAI charge, you will speak with him, not another lawyer or staff member. This experienced criminal defense attorney takes pride in providing professional, hands-on representation and guarantees he will return your call on the same business day if he can’t speak with you immediately. Call (845) 831-3606 to schedule a consultation and visit the firm’s website for more information about the criminal attorney and his services. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for more legal tips and insight.