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Newport DUI Defense Law Blog

More BUI law craziness: 'tubing under influence' may be allowed

While the following story doesn't have to do with the laws of Rhode Island, it still brings up a very interesting conversation about boating under the influence -- and, mainly, how it seems that any water-related activity is under attack of DUI and BUI laws.

We go to Georgia for this story, which passed a set of harsh BUI laws in 2013 in the wake of numerous fatal boating accidents. Part of the laws made it illegal for people to "float" or "tube" on the water while under the influence. This included rafts, inflatable objects and other homemade structures. If this sounds rather harsh, that's because it is -- and lawmakers seem to have realized their mistake.

5th DUI could lead to very harsh punishment for accused man

Last week, a car plowed into a snow bank in Glocester, Rhode Island. The driver appeared to be alright, but when the police arrived at the scene they had a suspicion that the man was intoxicated. As it turned out, the man was. He refused a breath test -- something you shouldn't do -- and failed a field sobriety test. The police eventually took him in and his bail was set at a staggering $100,000.

Police also found out that this 48-year-old man had four prior driving under the influence offenses on his record, making this his fifth DUI arrest. For his last DUI, the man spent a year in jail, and he will certainly be facing similar prospects this time around.

Take a breath (literally) in the wake of a DUI

Let's say that you get behind the wheel of a car after you've had a few too many drinks. You shouldn't make this decision under any circumstance -- but you do it anyway. As you are driving home, the police pull you over because you were swerving all over the road. You instantly begin thinking of ways to get out of what you assume will be a DUI, and you quickly land on your strategy: you'll just refuse the breath test. Simple, easy, and it can't fail.

Well, not exactly. You are basically compelled to take a breath test as a result of obtaining your driver's license from the state. Refusing to take the test can really only hurt you. You will be subjected to more penalties and the police will probably still get your blood alcohol content anyway.

NFL star gets probation, chance at expungement after 2014 DUI

Many Rhode Island residents may not know who Le'Veon Bell is. The star running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers was arrested on DUI charges last year, and recently his case was settled, leading to a period of probation, the suspension of his license for two months and entrance into a rehabilitation program.

What Bell also received with this agreement is the chance to eventually have the DUI expunged from his record, which is a big deal for anyone accused of driving under the influence. Bell's celebrity didn't necessarily earn him this chance -- in fact, many people could have a DUI expungement opportunity in the wake of such a charge.

Boater arrested on suspicion of operating boat while intoxicated

While the following story is not local, it still presents the chance to discuss boating under the influence and the many ramifications this charge can have on the people who are accused of committing the offense.

A boat was out on the water with nine people in it, and all of the passengers were between the ages of 18 and 24. The boat eventually crashed into a wood piling, which threw the passengers all over the boat -- though thankfully, none were tossed into the water. One woman was injured and needed to go to the hospital after the crash, though her injuries were described as not life threatening.

MADD report isn't exactly flattering for Rhode Island

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) released a report recently about how every state in the United States i doing when it comes to drunk driving prevention. Unfortunately for us here in Rhode Island, our state was recognized as one of the worst states in the union in this regard. Only Montana scored as low as Rhode Island in this report by MADD.

MADD did praise Rhode Island for a rule that was passed recently. The law forces an ignition interlock upon a driver that is a repeat offender or a first-time offender if their blood alcohol content exceeds 0.15. But otherwise, Rhode Island did not score particularly well according to MADD's metrics and categories.

BUIs on your driving record? One lawmaker wants this reality

While the following story isn't happening here in Rhode Island, it still serves as an important reminder about operating your boat and drinking while you do it. Or, more accurately, it's about boating under the influence and how this act is being taken very seriously by lawmakers, and this could become a national trend.

A state representative in Florida wants to make a law that says that anyone who is convicted of a BUI would have the offense added to his or her driving record. Obviously the point here is to deter people from getting out on their watercraft and drinking while they are doing it, and to also shame those who do decide to act in such a way.

Some questions & answers regarding real property tax appeals

The City of Newport and the Towns of Middletown and Tiverton are undertaking revaluation of all of the real property in each of those three communities as of December 31, 2014. Property owners will be receiving correspondence from the City/Town setting forth the old assessed values and the new assessment. It is our understanding that those numbers are going to increase significantly for most real property owners. This is especially true in Newport on the waterfront. The property owner should take the new number and divide it by the old number to see how much of an increase there was in the valuation. If the increase exceeds 15% you should contact our office immediately in order to determine whether an appeal to the appraisal company should be taken.

NFL linebacker arrested for second DUI in a year

Many Rhode Island residents are struggling to enjoy the Patriots' return to the Super Bowl this season due to the "Deflategate" scandal that has rocked the team. The Patriots beat the Colts in the AFC Championship game, giving the Patriots a berth in the Super Bowl. However, it was discovered that the Patriots beat the Colts with footballs that were under-inflated -- and provided by the team.

We won't discuss the merits of Deflategate at this time, but the Patriots' opponent in that AFC Championship game is going through some rough times now too, even outside of the context of Deflategate. One of their players was recently caught for driving under the influence. When Andrew Jackson, one of the team's linebackers, was pulled from the car and given a breath test, it was found that he had a blood alcohol level of 0.088.


President of Sean John clothing line cleared of DWI charge

The President of Sean John, a clothing line spearheaded by Sean "Diddy" Combs, was accused of driving under the influence recently. However, the charges against the man, Jeff Tweedy, were dropped for undisclosed reasons. No details are given in the article, and all we know about the incident in question is that the police noticed that Tweedy had watery, bloodshot eyes and that his breath smelled of alcohol.

While the story is short on details, there is a lot to learn from this incident. The first element of this story that is important is that presuming someone is guilty just because they face a DUI or DWI charge is obviously the wrong way to perceive the situation. There are plenty of complications or mistakes that could change the course of the case and show the the accused individual is free of wrongdoing.

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