DWAI charges dropped against LI woman
Charges of driving while ability impaired by drugs have been dropped against a woman after a blood test found no drugs covered by the law in her system.
In April, Karen Kregel, 44, of Farmingville was arrested after Suffolk police said she was driving west on the eastbound Long Island Expressway service road in Medford.
In addition to driving while impaired by drugs, she was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated because she had her 11-year-old nephew in the car. She also was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and other traffic violations.
Kregel agreed to have her blood tested, and the analysis by the Suffolk County Crime Lab found trace levels of Xanax and a therapeutic level of Topomax, a medicine prescribed for migraine headaches, said Robert Clifford, spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney's office.
To be convicted of driving while impaired by drugs, the drug has to be covered by the Public Health Law, and Topomax is not, Clifford said.
Because all of the criminal charges are related to the driving while impaired charge, Clifford said prosecutors had no choice but to dismiss the charges.
Kregel pleaded guilty to the traffic infraction of driving the wrong way on a one-way street and was fined $100, Clifford said.