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Facing felony DUI charges? Legal counsel can protect your rights

The severity of penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol differs from state to state, and when the strictness of all the states was compared recently, it was found that Rhode Island ranks number 34 on the list. Even so, DUI charges here are serious -- regardless of whether the accusations concern an alleged first or second violation, or a felony DUI after two prior convictions. The impact of such charges can adversely affect the lives of those who are convicted, and the assistance of experienced attorneys may be vital.

The legal limit for the blood-alcohol levels of drivers in most states is .08 percent, and a first offense in Rhode Island may result in the driver's vehicle being impounded. The minimum fine for a first offense is $100, and additional penalties kick in when blood-alcohol levels reach .10 percent. A second offense also jeopardizes the driver's chances of having his or her vehicle impounded, and the minimum fine goes up to $400. Moreover, there is a jail sentence of a minimum of 10 days for a second offense. However, first offenders are granted a washout period of 5 years; only if another offense occurs within that time period will it be regarded as a second offense.

When a driver is charged with drunk driving after two prior DUI convictions, it will be a felony charge. Many other states confiscate driver's licenses by means of an administrative sanction when the breath test results indicate a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or higher. Currently, Rhode Island DUI laws do not include this alternative. Arizona topped the comparison list of strictest states when it came to DUI, with South Dakota as the most lenient.

Any Rhode Island driver who faces a felony DUI charge -- or any drunk driving accusation -- may recognize the impact it could have on his or her personal and professional life. Fortunately, help is available from experienced DUI defense attorneys who will understand that the futures of accused drivers are on the line. They can examine the evidence for flaws and work to ensure the constitutional rights of accused individuals are upheld, as they work with their clients to implement defense strategies designed to achieve the best result attainable.

Source:, "RI Ranks as 34 Strictest State Regarding DUI's", June 16, 2015

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