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Newport DUI Defense Law Blog

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.

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.

Some questions and answers regarding BUIs

Boating under the influence exists in a weird realm of law where many people have questions about the charge even though it may seem akin to a driving under the influence charge. However, there are some differences between the charges, so let's dive into some common questions that are asked by BUIs and how such a charge can impact an accused person.

Here we go:

New ignition interlock law takes effect in Rhode Island

The New Year has only been around for 13 days, and there are probably some people out there who have already given up on their New Year's resolutions (there are probably many more keeping up with them, too). But there's one entity that hasn't given up on a new resolution, and that's the state of Rhode Island. On Jan. 1, the state put into effect a law that allows judges to ban DUI offenders from operating a vehicle without ignition interlock.

In other words, judges in Rhode Island now have the power to force a DUI offender to purchase and use an ignition interlock on their vehicle.

Refusing a breath test is not a good strategy

It is very easy to just assume that rejecting a breath test that an officer commands you to take is the best way to defend yourself against a DUI charge. At the very least, it will slow the police down -- or so the thought goes. However, refusing a breath test actually comes with more risks than supposed rewards. Allow us to demonstrate why.

First of all, you are actually compelled to take a breath test under implied consent laws. These laws represent a deal (of sorts) between you and the state. Implied consent says that in exchange for giving you the privilege to drive in the state, you must consent to a breath test in that state if the officers ask you to take such a test.

No jail time for Michael Phelps following DUI conviction

Anyone can make a mistake. Teachers, law enforcement, students and celebrity athletes alike, all can end up facing serious consequences due to clouded judgment. However, just because someone makes a mistake, it does not mean his or her life is over. 

Take for example the recent drunk driving conviction of gold medalist Michael Phelps. The Olympic athlete recently pleaded guilty to driving under the influence. His plea comes months after a DUI arrest. 

Boating under the influence is no joke

When it comes to the operation of a vehicle, few people think of boats when the topic of drunk driving comes to mind. Most people will immediately picture someone who is down on his or her luck driving away from a bar late at night. The implication is that anyone who is intoxicated and operating a vehicle is driving a car.

But, of course, there are other contexts in which a person can be accused of (and convicted of) operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Boats are just one of these contexts, and a BUI can leave an individual with some very serious punishments and consequences that affect their life for a long time after the charge.

DUIs aren't just for alcohol -- drugs can trigger them too

When you hear the phrase "driving under the influence" or you hear about someone being arrested for DUI, it's likely that you automatically picture someone who is drunk because they had a few too many alcoholic beverages. Most people think of DUIs this way: a person drinking too much alcohol. But there is another way that anyone can receive a DUI, and that's driving under the influence of drugs.

Drugs don't even necessarily have to be your typical illicit substances, such as cocaine or heroin, in this context. A prescription for your doctor could lead to a charge for driving under the influence of drugs. Even certain over-the-counter medications could lead to such a charge if consumed in too great of a quantity.

On driver's license loss, and why it's more complex than you think

We've talked about the immense consequences of a drunk driving charge before on this blog, and why consulting with and eventually hiring a criminal defense attorney after a DUI charge is absolutely vital. The breadth, depth and variety of punishment that is available for people accused of and/or convicted of a drunk driving charge can leave a person with few options to rebuild their life in the weeks, months and years that follow the charge.

One of these punishments is the suspension or loss of the individual's driver's license. Losing your driver's license for any amount of time can complicate your life, and the lives of others, in an immeasurable way.

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