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Nearly 8 percent of Rhode Island residents admit to drugged driving

We frequently discuss how a drunk driving arrest and subsequent conviction can negatively impact an individual's life, and those of his or her spouse and children, in numerous ways. A DUI conviction in Rhode Island can result in an individual paying thousands of dollars in fines, losing his or her driver's license for months and even spending time behind bars.

While many residents in Rhode Island likely know about the criminal penalties associated with a DUI conviction, fewer may be aware of those associated with driving under the influence of drugs.

According to CBS News poll, Rhode Island ranks number one for having the highest number of drivers who admit to "driving while under the influence of an illicit drug." In fact, nearly 8 percent of the state's population said they'd driven after taking some sort of illegal drug.

Rhode Island is among those states that have per se laws, meaning that "it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if there is any detectable level of a prohibited drug or its metabolites in a driver's blood." Consequently, drivers who are convicted of a DUID will have criminal record, face hundreds to thousands of dollars in fines and be sentenced to complete between 10 to 100 hours of community service hours.

Much like a DUI conviction, after a DUID there tends to be a ripple effect and an individual's personal relationships as well as those with work colleagues and community members may be negatively impacted. Additionally, the financial implications of a DUI or DUID conviction may be exacerbated by an individual's inability to get to work or his or her subsequent firing. For these and a host of other reasons, it's important to contact a criminal defense attorney who can advise on appropriate actions to avoid a DUI or DUID conviction.

Source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Rhode Island, General Laws of Rhode Island: § 31-27-2, Driving under influence of liquor or drugs," July 13, 2015


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