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Newport DUI Defense Law Blog

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.

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.

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