In Rhode Island, the offense of drunk driving is legally referred to as OUI (operating under the influence), but as in most other states, the common term remains DUI. Due to increased public awareness, legislators continue to pass additional OUI laws, each more strict than the last, making driving laws in Rhode Island now among the most aggressive in the nation. Being faced with a DUI / OUI can cause fear, anxiety and confusion about what has just occurred in your life. Most people facing a DUI have no prior criminal record at all. The unique thing about it is that it affects people from all walks of life who otherwise would never see the inside of a jail cell. The charge should be taken seriously, but with proper representation, it is possible to navigate the system knowing you’ve got a chance to get charges reduced or even dismissed. The complexity of the laws requires an attorney who specializes in DUI defense. You’ll want someone who knows the science involved, the nuances of the law, and is able to fight for your rights. Because you have only 15 days to request a hearing with the DMV, it is imperative that you contact a local Rhode Island DUI attorney as soon as possible for a free consultation on your case.
Rhode Island’s “per se” law states that it is illegal to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 or higher. For this you will be charged and arrested. Note that this law does not consider your driving at all. You can also be charged if the officer has reason to believe you are or have been operating a vehicle while under the influence to a degree of impairment that it affects safety. In order to pursue this method, the officer is likely to ask you to get out of the car and do some physical maneuvers known as field sobriety tests. It is your legal right to decline these tests, and there is not penalty for doing so. However, Rhode Island is an “implied consent” state, which means that by accepting a driver’s license from the state, you agree to take a blood or breath test. Refusal to take this test will result in enhanced penalties regarding your driver’s license.
Most DUI attorney will suggest that you speak as little as possible when you are stopped for a DUI. Everything you say can be used as a factor in deciding the level of your driving impairment. Be polite, don’t be chatty or animated, and don’t joke around. Your DUI / OUI arrest will bring forth a criminal case during which your attorney will be able to cross examine, call witnesses and dismantle the evidence presented against you. The outcome of this case will determine your guilt or innocence and fines and court fees, DUI school, and jail time will then be applied. This is no time to gamble with your freedom. Contact a skilled DUI attorney right away for a free consultation.
If you are arrested outside your home state, be sure to ask your attorney how this law will impact you.
• Incarceration – up to 1 year
• Fines – $100 to $500, plus associated court costs
• License Suspension – 1 month to 18 months plus $50 reinstatement fee and $200 test refusal fee
• Insurance – SR22 high-risk driver insurance required upon license reinstatement
• Community Service – 10 to 60 hours at court’s discretion
ADDITIONAL COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES
• Bail – set by the court, required before being released
• Towing – towing fee $75 to $100 plus daily storage fees
• Highway Assessment Fee - $500 for first offense
• Education – alcohol education program at your expense, $250
• Insurance –As a designated “high risk” driver, your insurance company will raise your rates significantly. Expect your insurance rates to double, triple or more.
• Record – DUI conviction will remain on driving record permanently
• Employment – offender may lose time off work and possibly even their job.
• Immigration and travel – restrictions can apply with certain convictions
Additional offenses will bring significantly higher penalties, up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Don’t take a chance with your freedom. It is highly recommended that you contact a qualified DUI attorney right away for a FREE CONSULTATION on your case. Your case CAN be won with the right representation.