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Rhode Island DUI Laws


Rhode Island DUI Laws are one of the strictest DUI laws in the country and DUI enforcement techniques are also used to apprehend drunk drivers on the streets and lessen the incidents of drunk driving.

In the state of Rhode Island, a person can be arrested for DUI if he is intoxicated with alcohol and/or drugs causing a physical and mental impairment. This case can be proven by the officer on the scene through the driving pattern, physical appearance, and field sobriety tests performance.

Another occurrence that can trigger a DUI arrest is a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more for all drivers. Also included in this per se law are minors under 21 with alcohol content of 0.02% or more and commercial vehicle drivers with BAC of 0.04%.

The state has an implied consent law that allows an officer to request a chemical test to determine the alcohol content in the system. You have the right to refuse this test, but it can be used against you during the court case and this will trigger a longer license suspension.

Once arrested you are faced with two charges. These include a criminal case and an administrative case in the Division of Motor Vehicles. In both cases, you should hire a DUI lawyer to help you present your case in the criminal courts, and to help you make a hearing request in the DMV to protect your driving rights.

If convicted of DUI in the state of Rhode Island, the court imposes the appropriate criminal penalties, while the Division of Motor Vehicles issues the license suspension sentence. The following are the penalties and sanctions:

1. First DUI offense – jail time of up to 1 year and/or community service of 10 to 60 hours, fines from $100 to $300, and license suspension from 30 to 180 days;
2. Second DUI offense – if committed within 5 years of the first offense will require a jail time of 10 days to 1 year, fines of up to $400, and license suspension from 1 to 2 years; and
3. Third DUI offense – if committed within 5 years of the first and second offenses will require a jail time of 1 to 3 years, fine of $400, and license suspension for 2 to 3 years. This offense is now classified as a felony.

In all instances of a DUI offense, you will be requested to pay the highway assessment fee for $300 to $500. After serving your license suspension sentence, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for 1 to 2 years. Depending on the gravity of your offense you will be required to attend an alcohol or drug treatment program.

To help you better understand Rhode Island DUI Laws hire a competent DUI lawyer.