DUI Rights Help in Rhode Island – Rhode Island DUI Laws
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a very serious, regardless of where it happens. When it comes to DUI laws in the state of Rhode Island, all major cities and towns follow the same rules. With this in mind, it is important for drivers who are charged with DUI to begin battling back against these charges as soon as possible, and DUIRights.com is here to help.
DUI Penalties for First Time Offenders in Rhode Island
Even if you have never been charged with DUI in the past, the penalties for first time offenders are still very harsh. Those who are pulled over and register above a 0.08 percent on a Breathalyzer test will be subject to a number of penalties should they be charged and convicted of DUI. Among these penalties are:
- $100 to $500 Monetary Fine
- Up to 1 Year in Jail
- License Suspension of 2 to 18 Months
How Your DUI Rights Can Help Your Case
Once someone has been charged with the crime of DUI, he or she should begin seeking out the legal help of a DUI lawyer. The state of Rhode Island does allow offenders to arrange a plea bargain for a lesser charge, such as “wet reckless,” which will often carry less serious penalties. Since this option is on the table, it is important to have a knowledgeable DUI attorney who can review the case and help to work with the state prosecutor in order to have a plea bargain arranged in exchange for a guilty plea.
If the prosecutor feels as though the case against the offender is not strong, he or she is more likely to agree to a plea bargain. One way to make the prosecution less confident in winning the case is to prove the offender’s rights were violated in some way during the traffic stop or the DUI arrest. A good DUI attorney will want to know all the details of the traffic stop and the arrest in order to determine if any rights were violated. Some of the questions an individual’s attorney may ask include:
- What was the arresting officer’s reason for making a traffic stop?
- Were there any other witnesses to the offender’s driving behavior? Do the officer’s observations align with other witnesses?
- Was the offender driving the vehicle when the traffic stop occurred?
- Did the offender take a Breathalyzer test? How long after the last alcoholic beverage was consumed was this test given?
- Did the arresting officer recite the offender’s Miranda Rights and ensure the offender understood them?
No matter how guilty you may think you were at the time of the arrest, we want you to know one important thing: There is ALWAYS an aggressive and effective defense that will help you fight for the best possible outcome. In our experience, many officers do not follow proper field sobriety test procedures. In fact, challenging probable cause and the way field sobriety tests, blood tests and breath tests were administered is often a successful strategy to reduce or drop the charges. Also, many people plead guilty prematurely based on a breath test with a result above the legal limit. This is a common and costly mistake, as there are a variety of ways in having the breath test suppressed as we will show you how to do.
If you rely solely on a public defender to help you, your chances will be limited in preserving financial security and effectively winning your case. With our help, we will show you the easy to understand steps needed to get your Rhode Island DUI charges dismissed effectively and take back the control of your situation by being equipped with the real information and attorney you need to win your case.
DUI Laws in Rhode Island
Rhode Island may be a small state, but it is one that takes drinking and driving very seriously. This is often the case in smaller communities as even a small amount of accidents can dramatically affect the local community. If you are caught drinking and driving in Rhode Island, you will face significant fines and penalties.
Consequences for Refusing to Take Chemical Tests
Rhode Island law clearly stipulates that anyone refusing to take chemical tests when arrested for a DUI will not only have his or her license suspended, but will also serve significant community service hours:
- First offense – 6-month suspension and up to 60 hours of community service (plus up to $500 in additional fines)
- Second offense – 1-year license suspension and up to 100 hours of community service (plus up to $1,000 in fines as well as possible jail time)
- Third offense – up to 5-year license suspension and 100 hours of community service (plus up to $1,000 in fines as well as possible jail time)
Challenging BAC Levels in Court
Rhode Island uses standard blood alcohol content (BAC) levels with some addendums to minors:
- Drivers that are under the age of 21, .02 percent (if the BAC is under .1, the driver may be charged with driving while impaired instead of a DUI)
- Drivers 21 years of age and older, .08 percent
- Commercial Drivers, .04 percent
Is There Mandatory Jail Time Required for a DUI in Rhode Island?
All those convicted of a DUI in Rhode Island will go to jail for some period:
- First offense – up to one year in jail
- Second offense – a minimum of ten days with a maximum of one year in jail
- Third offense – a minimum of one year and as long as five years in jail
The lookback period in Rhode Island is 5 years.
Monetary Fines and Penalties for DUI in Rhode Island
Minimum monetary fines in Rhode Island are very reasonable, but the upper end of the scale may cause financial difficulty, especially for repeat offenders:
- First offense – minimum fine of $100 with a maximum fine of $500
- Second offense – minimum fine of $400 with a maximum fine of $1,000
- Third offense – minimum fine of $400 with a maximum fine of $5,000
License Suspension for DUI in Rhode Island
Rhode Island license suspensions are about average for the country, except for third time offenders, where a maximum sentence is not clearly defined:
- First offense – minimum of two months with a maximum suspension of 18 months
- Second offense – minimum of one year with a maximum suspension of two years
- Third offense – minimum suspension of two years with no maximum sentence listed
While first time offenders are not required to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed, all repeat offenders will be required to use the device.
Finding a DUI Lawyer in Rhode Island
While the overall numbers in Rhode Island are much lower than other states, you have to consider the population of the state when evaluating the DUI statistics in Rhode Island. In all, 2,548 people were convicted of DUI in 2012, with 12 of them being under the age of 18. One of the more disturbing facts in Rhode Island is that 100 percent of the 24 fatal accidents involved a driver with a blood alcohol level (BAC) over .15 percent or higher.
Many people arrested and charged with DUI will often look for the quickest way to settle the case simply to “get it over with.” This can be mistake, especially with the professional ramifications of a DUI on your record. At the very least, you should visit DUIRights.com to have the case evaluated by an attorney free of charge.
Should I Hire a DUI Attorney in Rhode Island if I am Arrested?
Our recommendation is that you absolutely should hire a DUI attorney after being arrested. Now, we realize legal fees may not be something in your budget, but the difference in defending yourself or using a public defender is rather significant when compared to securing the services of a skilled DUI attorney.
DUIRights.com makes finding a skilled attorney very easy for you. Once on the site, you are able to submit the case details for a free evaluation. You will also be able to research local attorneys and DUI laws. Hiring one of these attorneys may be the difference in walking out of the courtroom and putting the keys in the ignition or surrendering your personal possessions at the door of the jailhouse.