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Under Rhode Island law, what are the penalties of a DWI?

It may not seem like it, but there are many different types of DWIs under Rhode Island law -- and the penalties associated with the offenses vary as well. So what are the types of DWIs in Rhode Island and what are the penalties associated with them?

To begin, Rhode Island considers a person to be driving while intoxicated if their blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds 0.08. But there are two other ways that someone can get a DWI or DWI variant. If you are underage, there is a "zero tolerance" measure that mandates a DWI if you have a BAC that exceeds 0.02. There is also an enhanced (or aggravated) DWI that comes into effect if any driver has a BAC that exceeds 0.15.

In addition, Rhode Island observes "implied consent," which is a law that says that if an officer concludes you are intoxicated while driving, you must submit to a field sobriety or chemical test to determine your exact blood alcohol level.

Now, what are the penalties associated with DWIs in Rhode Island? Well, it all depends on the situation, but in general you can expect to have your license suspended anywhere from one month to two years depending on the offense and your history. Your vehicle could be confiscated (if you have three aggravated DWI offenses) and you could be mandated to have an ignition interlock. It is also very likely that you will have to go to classes related to alcohol education, assessment and treatment.

Source: FindLaw, "Rhode Island DWI Laws," Accessed Oct. 22, 2014

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