Rhode Island DWI Laws


After being drunk, do not drive because it results in half of the driving accidents that result in death in the United States. That means that over 25,000 people die in alcohol related car accidents every year.  Rhode Island DWI takes a firm hand when it comes to DWI. South Carolina DUI laws are also formulated along similar lines, though they consider the number of repeat offences as an important factor.

Rhode Island DWI laws take in both age and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels when deciding punishment.  However, before heading out to drink without a designated driver there are a few points you might want to keep in mind.  Any Rhode Island DWI that results in the death of a passenger is automatically a felony.  Anyone under the age of 21 found with an open container could face up to a 30 day suspension.  Any person behind the wheel of a vehicle already gives their “implied consent”, means that they have already agreed to a breathalyzer in this state.

Rhode Island DWI laws define a person intoxicated at a .08 BAC level.  Anyone driving at this point is almost definitely ending up with a DWI.  If under 21, and caught drinking and driving the state is even less generous.  The BAC level then drops to .02 percent. South Carolina DUI laws also consider a person with a BAC above 0.08 intoxicated.

The penalties for driving while intoxicated range from first time offenders to third time offenders.  First time offender with the BAC of .08 to .10 percent can be fined from $100 - $400, have their license suspended up to 6 months, serve up to a year in jail, and be charged a $50 reinstatement fee.  They can also face driving school and/ or alcohol classes.  First time offenders with BAC levels from .10 to .15 receive the same penalties only a harsher.

Any second time offender within five years of their last offense will suffer a fine of $400, suspended license for up to two years, ten days to one year in jail, drug or alcohol rehabilitation, and a possible installation of ignition interlock system for up to two years.  Third time offenders with five years are at their last chance.  They are automatically charged with a felony, made to pay a $400 fine, have to spend 1 to 3 years in jail, take drug or alcohol rehabilitation classes, 2 to 3 years of license suspension, and after sentence is served made to have installation of ignition interlock system.

The penalties for going over .15 percent BAC levels are harsh no matter what type of offender you are.  First time offenders alone are fined $500, made to serve 1 to 2 years in jail, 20 to 60 hours of community service, 3 to 18 months of suspended license, and mandatory participation in a Rhode Island DWI special course.

Even the penalties for refusing a breathalyzer result in tough punishment in Rhode Island.  First offense is fined $200 to $400, suspended license up to 6 months, faces a Highway Safety Assessment and possibly made to go to driving school.  Also, there is a fee of $200 to support the department of health’s chemical testing programs.

The court costs alone for getting a Rhode Island DWI are pricey.   They are additional costs added on to your beginning fines. Finding a lawyer in Rhode Island to handle your case at a reasonable price is not so difficult.  Robert H. Humphrey is a very skilled lawyer who has, also written many books on getting Rhode Island DWI and driving drunk.  He is very knowledgeable in this field and would know what to anyone in this situation what they would be facing.

Rhode Island DWI laws are cracking down on drunk driving, but in their last state progress report by MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving) Rhode Island ranked at number 41.  The percentage was down from the previous year, but still 35.8% of fatality car crashes were alcohol related.  This is partly due to the fact that Rhode Island is 1 of 11 states that do not allow sobriety checkpoints.

Although, the number of offenders is not listed for Rhode Island DWI, the last updated information of second offenders was in 1996 and there were 56 convictions of second and more DWI.

The rights of someone convicted of a DWI in Rhode Island are pretty much the same as those convicted of anything else.  Higher yourself a lawyer and learn what to proceed from there.  You are not made to take a breathalyzer either when pulled over for a DWI, but in this state you will lose your license and probably your case for not doing so.  Some good lawyers that will help with your rights are Benjamin Mesiti, Schreiber and Schreiber, Pitts and Burns, and Susan Perkins.

Getting a Rhode Island DWI will most likely not result in anything good for you.  The best thing to do is be well informed of any new laws passed.  Most likely, anyone convicted of a Rhode Island DWI Laws is going to be facing some form of punishment, and it will not be nice. At least you can breathe safe that you won’t be as holed up as a similar case in South Carolina, where South Carolina DUI laws make it compulsory for people driving to take a breathalyzer test when asked to by police. And all this is again mandatory to be videotaped!

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