Learn more about Rhode Island DUI Laws

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Rhode Island DUI Laws and Penalties

DUI charges are prosecuted severly in the state of Rhode Island. The fines and penalties are determined by the age and BAC (blood and alcohol content) levels of the person charged with the offense. Having an experienced defense attorney with a strong background in DUI cases is crucial in guartanteeing that you get a fair trial. If you have been charged with a DUI it is important to know the following:

  • Any DUI resulting in the death of another person is considered a felony
  • Anyone under the age of 21 with an open container of alcohol may face a 30 day suspension
  • “Implied Consent” means that any driver operating a vehicle gives the state permission to administer a breathalyzer exam

 

Excerpts of the Rhode Island DUI Laws

Rhode Island defines driving under the influence (DUI) as any driver over the age of 21 with a BAC of .08% or higher. The state laws are less tolerant of drivers under the age of 21 who are found with BAC levels of anything over .02%, resulting in a DWI charge. For a more in-depth account of Rhode Island’s DWI policies, consult Title 31, Chapter 27 of the State of Rhode Island General Laws. Here is a summary of the State of Rhode Island’s Penalties for drivers over the age of 21:

 

First Time Offender with a BAC between .08-.10%

  • Fines from $100-$300
  • Suspended license for one to six months, up to one year in jail, and a $50 reinstatement fee
  • At the discretion of the court, serve 10-60 hours of community service
  • Face a Highway Safety Assessment ($500 fee) conducted by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and possible enrollment in a driving school and/or an alcohol treatment program

 

First Time Offender with a BAC between .10-.15%

  • Fines from $100-$400
  • One year in jail or 10-60 hours of community service
  • Suspended license 3-12 months

 

Second Time Offender within Five Years with a BAC between .08-.15%

  • Fines of $400
  • Suspended license for up to two years
  • Anywhere from 10 days to one year in jail
  • Alcohol or drug treatment
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock system for up to two years

 

Third Time Offender within Five Years with a BAC between .08-.15%

  • Felony
  • Mandatory $400 fine
  • One to three years in jail
  • Two to three years license suspension
  • Alcohol or drug treatment
  • Ignition interlock device for up to two years after sentence is completed

 

First Time Offender with a BAC of .15% or Higher

  • Fined $500
  • One year in jail or 20-60 hours of community service
  • Suspended license 3-18 months
  • Mandatory participation in a special course on DWI and/or drug treatment

 

Second Time Offender with a BAC of .15% or Higher

  • Fined $1,000
  • Jail for 6-12 months
  • Suspended license for two years

 

Third Time Offender with a BAC of .15% or Higher

  • Fined $1,000-$5,000
  • Jail for 3-5 years
  • Suspended license for three years
  • At the discretion of the judge the violator’s vehicle may be seized and sold by the state

 

First Offense Breathalyzer Test Refusal

  • Fined $200-$500
  • Community Service for 10-60 hours
  • Suspended license six months to one year
  • Face a Highway Safety Assessment ($500 fee) conducted by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and possible enrollment in a driving school and/or an alcohol treatment program
  • Pay a $200 fee to support the department of health’s chemical testing programs

 

Second Offense Breathalyzer Test Refusal within Five Years

  • Fined $600-$1000
  • Suspended license 1-2 years
  • 60-100 hours of community service
  • Mandatory alcohol or drug treatment
  • Face a Highway Safety Assessment ($500 fee) conducted by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI)and possible enrollment in a driving school and/or an alcohol treatment program
  • Pay a $200 fee to support the department of health’s chemical testing programs

 

Third Offense Breathalyzer Test Refusal within Five Years

  • Fined $800-$1,000
  • Up to one year in jail
  • License suspended 2-5 years
  • Mandatory 100 hours of community service
  • Alcohol or drug treatment
  • Hearing to determine whether license may be reinstated
  • Face a Highway Safety Assessment ($500 fee) conducted by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and possible enrollment in a driving school and/or an alcohol treatment program
  • Pay a $200 fee to support the department of health’s chemical testing programs

 

DUI Resulting in Death

  • Jail sentence 5-15 years
  • Fined $5,000-$10,000
  • Revoked license for 5 years
  • At the judge’s discretion possible enrollment in an alcohol treatment program

 

Penalties for Drivers Under 21

 

First Time Offender 18 or Younger with a BAC of .02 or Higher

  • Community Service 10-60 hours
  • Suspended license 6-18 months
  • Must enroll in a DWI course and/or an alcohol treatment or education program
  • At the judge’s discretion a possible highway assessment fine of up to $500

 

Second Time Offender 18 or Younger with a BAC of .02 or Higher

  • Suspended license until 21
  • At the judge’s discretion, a fine of up to $500 and a one year sentence in the Rhode Island Training School (juvenile correctional facility)

 

First Time Offender 18-21 Years Old with a BAC of .02 or Higher

  • Up to 30 hours of community service
  • A fine of up to $250
  • Suspended license for three months, provided one attends a class on DWI and enrolls in an alcohol treatment education program

 

Second Time Offender 18 or Younger with a BAC of .02 or Higher

  • Fined $250 in addition to a $300 highway assessment fee
  • Up to 60 hours of community service
  • Suspended license 3-6 months
  • Must enroll in a course on DWI and in an alcohol treatment program

 

About Rhode Island DUI Attorney S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq.

Experienced with the Rhode Island DUI Laws

I have been practicing law for over 20 years and even served as the a Rhode Island Assistant Attorney General from 1993-1997. I have a lot of experience working with the Rhode Island DUI Laws and will apply that to the handling of your case. Working with hundreds of DUI, BUI, and Breathalyzer Refusal cases has given me a vast amount of experience to draw upon in your defense. I take my practice very seriously and put my full efforts into each and every case. You do not have to face these kinds of charges alone. As an aggressive Rhode Island DUI Attorney, I can help.