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Newport DUI Defense Law Blog

A discussion about boating under the influence

Did you know that according to the Insurance Information Institute the number of boating accidents that involve alcohol is roughly 50 percent? That's a startling figure that really puts the matter into focus. The Coast Guard also says that when a boating accident happens that involve alcohol, the chance for the incident to be fatal is increased 34 percent.

Look, people should never operate a boat when they have had alcohol in their system. It's just a stupid decision that could result in the individual getting into serious trouble -- and in the worst cases, the individual gets into trouble after causing a tragic accident. Just avoid this if you can.

About the time a man called the cops on himself for DUI

Many Rhode Island residents may not have heard this incredible story, but a 55-year-old man in Canada was recently driving home one morning after he had been drinking the night before. The man knew he was drunk, and so he pulled over on a freeway and called the police -- on himself. The police showed up and gave the man a breath test which showed that he was indeed over the legal limit.

It is unclear what sorts of criminal charges the man will face, as the source article is an interview with the 55-year-old inquiring as to why he did what he did -- and the struggles he has been experiencing recently. But the humanity of the story, of trying to do right in the face of wrong, is very compelling.

You need to defend yourself in the wake of a DUI

Drunk driving penalties are already very harsh on the individual who is being accused of the offense. But at the same time, the criminal justice system is against him or her from the get-go. Usually an individual who is accused of a DUI is not fully aware of all of his or her rights. They may know some basic rights, but they may lack knowledge or awareness of some other rights and protections that they are entitled to.

Without this knowledge or awareness, the system will happily chew them up and spit them out. The system just keeps churning, regardless of whether you get your own lawyer, have one appointed for you, or plead guilty or innocent. It is a system after all, and the whole point is that it keeps going without feelings or compassion for an individual's situation. The rules and laws are all that matter, and you can either choose to protect yourself and uphold your rights, or not and risk having an inadequate defense.

The numbers behind Rhode Island drunk driving offenses in 2012

We often talk about drunk driving in terms of its implications and effects on the individual accused of the crime here on this blog. But what does drunk driving look like in the state of Rhode Island? What does the data show for this offense? Today, we will look at some 2012 statistics which deal with drunk driving here in the state of Rhode Island and were compiled by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

In 2012, there were 2,548 arrests for driving under the influence in the state of Rhode Island. Only 12 of those arrests were for someone under the age of 18.

Attorney general calls for enhanced DUI penalties in Rhode Island

We have spoken about the expansion of DUI laws and the enhanced punishments that many lawmakers are considering for drunk drivers on this blog before. But in those cases, the suggested actions and changes to the law were not happening here in Rhode Island. Now, the changing tide of DUI laws and consequences has made it to the Ocean State, with lawmakers calling for stronger penalties for the offense of driving under the influence.

The Attorney General of Rhode Island, Peter F. Kilmartin, made a bold public statement to increase the penalties for those who are charged with driving under the influence and cause death or serious injury relating to their DUI.

The financial implications of a chemical test refusal in RI

When police here in Rhode Island make a DUI arrest, they generally will request that the arrestee take a chemical test regarding their blood alcohol level, such as a breath test, a blood test or a urine test. Now, an arrestee could refuse to undergo such a test, but doing so could have some significant negative consequences for them. This is because, under Rhode Island law, administrative penalties can be issued against drivers who refuse a reasonable chemical test request.

One of the negative things a person who is found to have refused a reasonable chemical test request may experience is a major hit to their pocket book.

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.

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