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Newport DUI Defense Law Blog

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.

What are Rhode Island implied consent laws?

It happens every day -- drivers are pulled over for suspicion of OUI. Drivers in Rhode Island, much like those in other states, are subject to implied consent laws when it comes to OUI testing. In this week's post, we are going to briefly cover implied consent laws and how they can affect you.

Motorists who are pulled over for suspicion of OUI are often asked to submit to field sobriety and Breathalyzer tests. Both of these tests can give officers an idea of impairment, and depending on the results, officers will either make an arrest or allow drivers to continue on their way. When drivers in Rhode Island apply for and receive a driver's license, they are covered by the state's implied consent laws. These laws state that Rhode Island drivers must agree to submit to chemical testing, which includes up to two blood, urine or breath tests in connection with an OUI arrest.

Holiday DUI enforcement results in over a dozen DUI charges filed

Holidays are a busy time for Rhode Island law enforcement officers. Major holidays mean more police officers are out on the road looking for drunk or otherwise intoxicated drivers. Even though DUI checkpoints are considered illegal in the state, local police are allowed to increase their efforts in removing impaired drivers from Rhode Island roadways. Because of increased efforts, several residents are now facing DUI charges.

A recent overnight campaign over Thanksgiving weekend resulted in over a dozen DUI related arrests. According to a recent news report, a DUI task force arrested 14 individuals on DUI and other related charges. These arrests were apparently made across the state and not in any particular city.

Lose a loved one in a fatal offshore accident? Help is available

Rhode Island is home to a gorgeous coastline and beautiful waterways. Needless to say, boating activities are a common occurrence in this state. Unfortunately, boating accidents do occur on occasion, and those who have lost a loved one in a fatal offshore accident may wonder if they have any legal recourse.

Boating laws are different than driving laws, but this doesn't excuse boaters who exhibit reckless behavior from facing any consequences for their actions. It is possible to be charged for boating accidents that are caused due to negligent behavior. Apart from any criminal charges filed in association with reckless boat usage, victims of that negligent behavior retain the right to pursue civil claims in an effort to recoup any financial losses suffered as a result.

'Boater's fatigue' and what it means in a BUI case

Imagine that you go out on the lake with your speedboat, or you take to the seas with your boat. It's a sunny, beautiful day -- but a bit windy. While you're out there, you enjoy a beer or two. This isn't out of the ordinary in many boating trips for many people, but on this day, the influence the alcohol has over you feels stronger than ever before.

Eventually you are "pulled over" by the authorities and accused of boating under the influence. You try to explain that your seemingly erratic boating was caused by a number of factors, but the authorities don't want to hear it.

Teen arrested for drunk driving, released on bond

A few weeks ago, we wrote a blog post about the varying charges and penalties related to driving under the influence charges in the state of Rhode Island. In that post, we talked about the "zero tolerance" blood alcohol limit for those who are underage. That limit is 0.02 (much lower than the normal 0.08 limit), and it appears than a teenager in Rhode Island has committed this offense.

The 19-year-old was driving his car when the vehicle overturned. Police on the scene administered field sobriety tests, and the teenager was arrested for driving under the influence. He was soon released on bond, though he now has a serious legal situation on his hands.

What a DUI expungement can do for you

Many people may not know about, or even heard about, criminal expungements. When an expungement is granted to someone, it means that the individual's criminal history is effectively hidden from view. The record still exists, mind you, so that it can be referenced in case of other criminal offenses -- but the charge won't show up in background checks.

This is a huge gift for many people who have a criminal charge, such as a driving under the influence offense, because, in a way, it gives them a chance to start over. Having a criminal history disrupts a person's ability to find living arrangements, suitable work and even lines of credit. Obscuring these crimes so that the individual has a chance to rebuild his or her life is an important step.

Man sued for causing boat collision while drunk

While the following story did not occur here in Rhode Island, it serves as an important reminder to people who enjoy going out on the lake with their boat -- and maybe enjoying a drink or two during the ride. And that reminder is this: don't do it.

A husband and wife are suing a man who hit their boat with his boat last year while he was intoxicated. The man at fault had a 36-foot speedboat while the married couple was in a 17-foot boat that was part of a pack of fishing boats. The collision occurred on Lake Michigan, and it left the wife with a head injury and the man with multiple minor injuries. However, their harm has lingered for a year, and now the married couple is suing the man for boating while intoxicated.

Drunk driving is a mistake, and you have to defend yourself

Let's say that you go out to your local establishment with a few friends on a Thursday night. You and your buddies have been doing this for many months. Every couple of weeks or so, you get together to have a couple of drinks and just catch up. You've never had a problem with this, and every happy hour you've been to before this one, you've always enjoyed two drinks and then a glass of water.

You drive home a couple of hours later and all is well. You never wavered on the road. There was never any indication you were intoxicated at all. In fact, you suspect that, at worst, you would have registered a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.03 or 0.04 on a breath test. In actuality, it may have been different -- but to you and, objectively, to the world around you, you were not driving drunk.

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