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Rhode Island Drunk Driving Laws

For years, Rhode Island has been taking a tough stance against drinking and driving. Their strict penalties are designed to deter this behavior, giving cops an array of methods of tracking down drunk drivers. Common law enforcement techniques include publicized DUI campaigns, blanket patrols, videotaping, and roadside sobriety tests.

In light of the state’s serious attitude toward drinking and driving, you need to take all DUI charges seriously. That means you need to find a Rhode Island DUI lawyer who can analyze all the evidence surrounding your case to construct a solid defense on your behalf. Remember, not every lawyer practices this highly specific branch of the law. Make sure the attorney you choose handles DUI cases on a routine basis.

To give yourself the best chance of receiving a favorable outcome to your case, you should spend time learning more about Rhode Island DUI laws. While you don’t need to be an expert on them (that’s what your lawyer is for,) a little bit of knowledge will come in handy as you make important decisions regarding your defense. Get started by reading this brief overview of Rhode Island DUI laws below.

Rhode Island DUI Basics

There are 2 main theories used to prosecute DUI cases in Rhode Island. The first method is based on per se laws. To explain, this means that anyone found operating a motor vehicle while having a BAC of .08% or higher will be arrested for an DUI. While this seems like a fair way of proving guilt, the fact is BAC tests aren’t always accurate. The results can be influenced by an array of outside factors. That’s why you need an DUI lawyer who can analyze the results for accuracy.

The other method of prosecuting Rhode Island DUI cases is based on visual evidence. In these cases, an officer may use your driving patterns, behavior during the traffic stop, and your performance during field sobriety tests to prove you are impaired. Now, it doesn’t take a lawyer to see that one officer’s judgment is highly subjective, and it should be challenged in your defense.

You should also know that refusing to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test can lead to an instant suspension of your license.

Rhode Island DUI Penalties

Rhode Island has a look back period of 5 years. This means that any offense essentially drops off the record after 5 years. For example, if you received an DUI in 2000 and another in 2007, the one in 2007 would still be considered your first offense.

The guidelines for Rhode Island DUI penalties are as follows:

If this is your first DUI offense, your penalties include up to $300 in fines, up to one year in jail, license suspension for up to 6 months, and community service.

For your second DUI offense (within 5 years,) you face the following penalties: $400 in fines, suspended license for 2 years, up to one year in jail, alcohol or drug treatment, and an ignition interlocking device may be installed on your vehicle.

If this is your third DUI offense, it will be considered a felony. Your fines will be at least $400, and you’ll spend from one to 3 years in jail. Furthermore, your license will be suspended for 2 to 3 years.

It’s also worth noting that your penalties could be harsher if your BAC exceeds .15%. In many cases, an excessive BAC leads to essentially double the normal penalty.

Rhode Island DUI Lawyer

You don’t have time to wait around figuring out what to do about your DUI charges. You need to find a lawyer today. Let Ticket Void find the perfect Rhode Island DUI lawyer for your needs. Click the city nearest you in the list below to get started! TicketVoid is a FREE service to the driver.