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Rhode Island DUI Laws: The Basics You Need to Know


Suffering a DUI (driving under the influence) is one of the most worrisome possibilities for any driver. Driving under the influence carries plenty of penalties, though they differ based on the context. For example, various factors play into how large the penalty leveled against you will be in a DUI case. Understanding the Rhode Island DUI Laws and the basics you need to know will help you in possible DUI cases. You may not know that every state works differently and that the number of times you were arrested impacts the punishment you face. The law takes into account your history, how under the influence you were, and more.

Rhode Island wishes to crack down on drivers driving under the influence. With that in mind, the laws work severely to ensure that once someone is arrested once, they will never think about getting behind the wheel while intoxicated again. However, in the case that someone does get the wheel while intoxicated for a second or third time, the laws change. Let’s take a look at the basics of the Rhode Island DUI laws so you know what you are working with in the state.

Rhode Island DUI Laws: Penalties By Offense

First Offense- As expected, the first offense brings you the lightest of the possible penalties. However, do not get any wrong ideas here. The penalties still work to ensure that you do not get behind the wheel while intoxicated ever again. If the law had its way, second and third offense penalties would not need to exist. While this is the case, some drivers do get behind the wheel while intoxicated for second and third times.

However, let’s look at the penalties for the first time first. First-time penalties include a fine from $200-500 to show there are financial ramifications for your actions. Additionally, you will serve 10-60 hours of community service to re-build your reputation in the community. Finally, your license will be leveled a suspension for six months.

Second Offense- The second offense comes with worse penalties, punishing you for not learning from the first time. Depending on the Blood Alcohol Content, you will spend anywhere from 10 days to a year in jail. There will be jail time no matter what. Your license will be suspended for 1-2 years to make sure you learn how to properly take the road. You will face mandatory alcohol treatment, and you will face fines totaling anywhere from $1,200-$1,750. As we said earlier, Rhode Island wants to stop drivers from driving under the influence before they can even think to.

Third Offense- Your third offense carries the largest possible punishment. Once you are on your third offense, the law stops holding back at all. At this point, the law considers you a repetitive offender who has not learned their lesson. To the law, this means they must pound home the lesson in an even stronger way. You will spend a minimum of a full year in jail, with up to five years working as a possibility. Your license will be suspended 2-3 years, and you will once again have to go in for alcohol treatment. Fines total anywhere from $1,000-$5,000 depending on your blood alcohol content.

Implied Consent

 One law that changes on a state by state basis is the implied consent law. Implied consent means that if you are pulled over for being suspected of driving under the influence, you must do what the cops say. That means if a cop requests a breathalyzer test, you must take the breathalyzer test. If a cop requests you walk in a straight line, you must walk in a straight line. By driving in a way that shows a cop you may be under the influence, you give the cop your consent to test you to see if their thought was right.

Rhode Island DUI laws state that Rhode Island works with the implied consent law as one of their laws. This means if you refuse tests, you will suffer the consequences of the law.

What Should I Do If I Am Accused Of Driving Under The Influence?

As we stated, refusing to take the tests requested of you will put you in a worse spot. Follow the cop’s directions, then immediately call your DUI Lawyer. Working with your DUI lawyer, you will look for problems in the arresting process. Perhaps your breathalyzer test comes with the potential for argument. Maybe the cop did not handle the entire situation by the books. Regardless, your chances rise with the help of a professional. You must not think that your case is finished once arrested. Plenty of possibilities exist to limit your punishment. Professionals work as professionals for a good reason, and no case comes with no chance of winning.

Call your DUI Lawyer and work on putting yourself in the best position to limit the penalties. It’s the strongest move for your well-being moving forward.

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