As experienced Buffalo DWI lawyers, we are aware that for many years, New York State has struggled with the issue of how to handle impaired driving cases involving interactions between either alcohol and drugs or the interaction of multiple drugs.
While the state created the offense of Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Drugs or of Alcohol and any Drug or Drugs several years ago to close a loophole in the law, there still remain issues that can complicate these cases.
Before the creation of the offense of Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Drugs or of Alcohol and any Drug or Drugs, cases where a medication interacted with alcohol could potentially be defended based on an argument that the defendant was charged under the wrong section of law.
For example, a defendant may have been charged with Driving While Intoxicated (which requires that intoxication be caused by alcohol) when the intoxication was not actually caused by the consumption of alcohol.
Under such circumstances, the defendant – even if intoxicated – would be innocent of the crime charged and should be acquitted.
While creating an offense that addresses the combination of drugs and alcohol helped eliminate this problem in some cases, there are still cases where the prosecution may proceed under the wrong section of law.
If a defendant is charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Drugs or of Alcohol and any Drug or Drugs, for example, the prosecution must prove that it was a combination of substances – not just one of them – that caused the impaired driving.
A failure to do so may result in the charge being dismissed.
As a result, prosecutors must carefully evaluate how to proceed in cases involving both alcohol and drugs.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both, we can help you at 716-542-5444.