In Rhode Island, if you are arrested for an OUI, you are required to take up to two chemical tests (blood,urine,or breath). Implied consent means that if you are arrested for probable cause of operating a vehicle under the influence of chemicals, you are giving permission to have the tests completed. The officer has to tell you that you have the right to a doctor’s examination immediately following arrest.
If you refuse a chemical test, you should be aware of the penalties:
– First Offense: 6 month license suspension, $200-$500 in fines, and up to 60 hours of community service
– Second Offense: $600- $1,000 in fines, 1 year license suspension, up to 100 hours of community service and possible jail time
– Third Offense: 100 hours of community service, $800-$1,000 in fines, 2-5 years of license suspension
If you do choose test refusal, the officer must comply, and cannot force you to take a test. The officer is required to call the department of motor vehicles and explain the reason for your test, and then you will receive a piece of mail concerning your suspension. If you have a third offense, you are not just facing years of suspension, but you will have to complete a treatment program.
Once you receive the notice of suspension, you have up to five days to surrender your license. You will also have fifteen days to request a hearing, and once it is scheduled you will have the opportunity to defend yourself. If you partner with an experienced defense lawyer, you have the chance to explain why you refused. The defense lawyer may argue that you were not given your rights or that the officer failed to inform you of your right to a doctor. Arguing your defense on your own is not a wise choice, especially if you are facing possible jail time.