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What are Rhode Island's DUI penalties?

In all states, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher is against the law. You can be convicted of a DWI if you're discovered to be driving, boating or using another vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In Rhode Island, there are various penalties for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The first, and potentially the most damaging, penalty is that you'll have your license suspended. That could mean you can't get to work or school or that your family can't get where they need to go.

If you refuse a chemical test, you could face harsher penalties and lose your license for even longer than if you took the test to begin with. Rhode Island is a state with implied consent, so when you get behind the wheel, you have already consented to an officer giving you a Breathalyzer test with probable cause.

The enhanced penalty BAC limit varies by state, but in Rhode Island it is .15 percent. If you are driving with this level of alcohol in your blood, you face a higher level of penalties than if you were simply over .08. It's likely that in any case, you'll need to go through a driver safety course and pay additional fines for your actions.

Your attorney can speak to you after your arrest to help you understand your rights. With a strong defense, there is a potential that you could have the charges against you dropped or have evidence suppressed.

Source: FindLaw, "Rhode Island DWI Laws," accessed May 26, 2017

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