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What are the penalties for a first-time DUI offense?

Driving under the influence of alcohol can result is serious charges and penalties in Rhode Island. All drivers should know that they can be charged with a DUI if a police officer suspects that they are impaired by alcohol. This may not mean that the driver is drunk, just that he or she is impaired and cannot safely operate his or her vehicle.

Drivers can be convicted of a DUI if they were incapable of safely operating their vehicle or if their blood alcohol content is .08 or higher. 

A DUI conviction is serious and can impact the rest of a person's life. What are the penalties for being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol? Listed below are the penalties for a first-time DUI offense: 

  • Serve 10 to 60 days of community service
  • Loss of license for 3 to 12 months
  • $100 to $400 fine
  • $500 highway assessment fee
  • $173 criminal information system fee
  • Maintain proof of responsibility for three years
  • Attend course for alcohol treatment
  • Potentially serve up to one year in jail

The penalties only increase for second and subsequent convictions. 

Drivers should be aware of the serious consequences of getting arrested and convicted of drunk driving. Having a DUI conviction on your record can impact your job opportunities as well as harm your ability to get into college. 

Drivers who are arrested on suspicion of a DUI should contact an attorney right away. A lawyer can protect your rights and make sure all options are explored to reduce the penalties or dismiss the charges. 

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