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Newport DUI Lawyer

Newport DUI Cases and Overview

As a result of Rhode Island’s “crack down” on drunk driving, and the concentration of people that flock to Newport for summer fun, Newport RI DUI laws have become some of the strictest in the nation. Without proper representation such as an expert DUI lawyer, a first-time DWI offender is at risk for significant penalties including a loss of license, thousands of dollars in fines, a criminal conviction, higher insurance premiums and in some cases, risk of incarceration. Driving under the influence of alcohol, also called DUI or DWI and drunk driving, is one of the most common charges encountered in the Newport criminal justice system.

Refusing to take the chemical test or breathalyzer following an arrest for a DUI in Newport carries its own criminal penalty, which can include a minimum of a six to twelve-month loss of license, fines, community service, DUI educational classes, and other sanctions. Most Rhode Island DUI charges are misdemeanors; however, a third-offense DUI within 5 years is a felony. Additionally, Rhode Island DUI penalties are enhanced for DUI convictions where the blood or breath alcohol level (BAC) is .15% or higher.

DUI Penalties in Newport RI

Due to the serious and deadly results often resulting from alcohol related accidents, Newport RI takes a hard stance against drunk driving. The state’s stringent laws and penalties are based on age and blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. However, it’s important to remember the following points:

  • Any DUI resulting in a death of another person is considered a felony.
  • Any driver under 21 years old found with an open container in his or her vehicle may face a 30-day suspension.
  • “Implied Consent” means that any driver behind the wheel of a vehicle gives the state permission to administer a breathalyzer exam.

The state defines driving while intoxicated (DUI) as any driver 21 or older with a BAC of .08% or higher. The law is less tolerant for drivers under 21 who can be charged with DWI for a BAC of .02% or higher. You can find a full account of Rhode Island’s DWI policies in Title 31, Chapter 27 of the State of Rhode Island General Laws. Here is a summary of the State of Rhode Island’s DUI Penalties.
Penalties for Drivers 21 and Older

First Time Offender with a BAC between .08-.10%

  • Fined $100-$300
  • Suspended license for one to six months, up to one year in jail, and a $50 reinstatement fee
  • At the discretion of the court, serve 10-60 hours of community service
  • Face a Highway Safety Assessment ($500 fee) conducted by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and possible enrollment in a driving school and/or an alcohol treatment program

First Time Offender with a BAC between .10-.15%

  • Fined $100-$400
  • One year in jail or 10-60 hours of community service
  • Suspended license 3-12 months

Second Time Offender within Five Years with a BAC between .08-.15%

  • Fined $400
  • Suspended license for up to two years
  • Anywhere from 10 days to one year in jail
  • Alcohol or drug treatment
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock system for up to two years

Third Time Offender within Five Years with a BAC between .08-.15%

  • Felony
  • Mandatory $400 fine
  • One to three years in jail
  • Two to three years license suspension
  • Alcohol or drug treatment
  • Ignition interlock device for up to two years after sentence is completed

First Time Offender with a BAC of .15% or Higher

  • Fined $500
  • One year in jail or 20-60 hours of community service
  • Suspended license 3-18 months
  • Mandatory participation in a special course on DWI and/or drug treatment

Second Time Offender with a BAC of .15% or Higher

  • Fined $1,000
  • Jail for 6-12 months
  • Suspended license for two years

Third Time Offender with a BAC of .15% or Higher

  • Fined $1,000-$5,000
  • Jail for 3-5 years
  • Suspended license for three years
  • At the discretion of the judge, the violator’s vehicle may be seized and sold by the state

First Offense Breathalyzer Test Refusal

  • Fined $200-$500
  • Community Service for 10-60 hours
  • Suspended license six months to one year
  • Face a Highway Safety Assessment ($500 fee) conducted by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and possible enrollment in a driving school and/or an alcohol treatment program
  • Pay a $200 fee to support the department of health’s chemical testing programs

Second Offense Breathalyzer Test Refusal within Five Years

  • Fined $600-$1000
  • Suspended license 1-2 years
  • 60-100 hours of community service
  • Mandatory alcohol or drug treatment
  • Face a Highway Safety Assessment ($500 fee) conducted by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI)and possible enrollment in a driving school and/or an alcohol treatment program
  • Pay a $200 fee to support the department of health’s chemical testing programs

Third Offense Breathalyzer Test Refusal within Five Years

  • Fined $800-$1,000
  • Up to one year in jail
  • License suspended 2-5 years
  • Mandatory 100 hours of community service
  • Alcohol or drug treatment
  • Hearing to determine whether license may be reinstated
  • Face a Highway Safety Assessment ($500 fee) conducted by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and possible enrollment in a driving school and/or an alcohol treatment program
  • Pay a $200 fee to support the department of health’s chemical testing programs

DUI Resulting in Death

  • Jail sentence 5-15 years
  • Fined $5,000-$10,000
  • Revoked license for 5 years
  • At the judge’s discretion possible enrollment in an alcohol treatment program

Penalties for Drivers Under 21

First Time Offender 18 or Younger with a BAC of .02 or Higher

  • Community Service 10-60 hours
  • Suspended license 6-18 months
  • Must enroll in a DWI course and/or an alcohol treatment or education program
  • At the judge’s discretion a possible highway assessment fine of up to $500

Second Time Offender 18 or Younger with a BAC of .02 or Higher

  • Suspended license until 21
  • At the judge’s discretion, a fine of up to $500 and a one year sentence in the Rhode Island Training School (juvenile correctional facility)

First Time Offender 18-21 Years Old with a BAC of .02 or Higher

  • Up to 30 hours of community service
  • A fine of up to $250
  • Suspended license for three months, provided one attends a class on DWI and enrolls in an alcohol treatment education program

Second Time Offender 18 or Younger with a BAC of .02 or Higher

  • Fined $250 in addition to a $300 highway assessment fee
  • Up to 60 hours of community service
  • Suspended license 3-6 months
  • Must enroll in a course on DWI and in an alcohol treatment program

Defending your Newport RI DUI Accusation

As a former Special Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Macktaz intimately understands the elements of a Rhode Island DUI. They are the following:

The State Must Prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
  • The Defendant operated a motor vehicle
  • The event happened in the State of Rhode Island
  • Under the influence of an intoxicating liquor

Understanding these provides the opportunity to defend this using one or many of these types of defenses.

Challenging the Constitutionality of the Stop in Newport RI

The Police cannot stop a driver unless he has reasonable suspicion to believe a crime has been or is about to be, committed. The police may stop an individual for any traffic violation. DUI Roadblocks have been held unconstitutional in Rhode Island. A car cannot be stopped based on an anonymous tip or 911 call.

Challenging the Field Sobriety Tests

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the Government agency that regulates standardized field sobriety testing. According to NHTSA, when performed and tested healthy individuals the following results were found:

  • The one-leg stand test is only 65% accurate for BAC above .10%
  • The walk-and-turn test is only 68% accurate for BAC above .10%
  • Nystagmus test was only 77% accurate for BAC above .10%

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration’s own training manual, improperly administered field sobriety tests do not produce reliable evidence of intoxication. NHTSA does not endorse non-standardized field sobriety tests such as; reciting the alphabet, counting backward or picking up an object. This means there is no scientific foundation for the officer to justify giving you this test or that your performance can translate into intoxication.

Challenging the Admissibility of the Breath Test Results in Newport RI

  • The police must have probable cause to request you submit to a chemical test for purposes of a criminal charge.
  • The police must advise you of your right to have an independent chemical test performed by a physician or hospital of your choosing and afforded a reasonable chance to exercise this right.
  • The police must observe you for at least 15 minutes prior to you taking the breath test.
  • A true copy of the breath test results must be mailed to you within 72 hours of the test.
  • The breath test machine must be in full compliance with the regulations set out by the Department of Health.
  • The breath test operator must be certified within 365 days of the test.
  • Two complete samples must be given within a 30 minute period.
  • The two samples must be within a .05% agreement of each other.

Using Booking Room and/or Patrol Car Videos

Many police stations have video surveillance to record all suspects during processing. Additionally, more and more patrol cars are equipped with mounted video equipment which records everything from the stop of the car to the field sobriety testing at road side. Gaining access to these videos may provide exculpatory evidence showing the favorable performance and balance of the suspect. The video will also capture the officer’s administration of the test which, if given improperly, would provide a basis to challenge the officer’s credibility.

Independent Witnesses

It is not just the prosecution who is allowed to call witnesses at trial. If you were in direct contact with one or more people shortly prior to your arrest, you may call them to testify to your lack of intoxication. It may be your passenger, the waitress at the restraint you ate, the bartender where you just left or even the family who picked you up from jail. Any lay witness, meaning they do not have to be an expert, can testify to their opinion regarding your sobriety.

Miranda Warnings not Given

Any interrogation that takes place while in police custody must have been preceded by a Miranda warning. If not given, any statements made as a result of questioning would be excluded from the trial. This is particularly important when incriminating statements were made by you after your arrest.

Failure to Conduct Observational Period

Rhode Island law requires the police to observe a suspect for at least 15 minutes prior to administering a breath test. This is because any mouth alcohol, which could be the result of recent alcohol consumption, hiccuping, burping or vomiting, would cause a false elevated reading.

Expert Witnesses

The defendant has an absolute right to present expert witnesses in his own defense. DUI law is extremely complex and it may be necessary to call an expert to testify to such issues as; toxicology, chemistry, biology, breath testing instrumentation and/or functioning.

Medical and Health Problems

Pre-existing medical conditions related to your brain, legs, neck, back and vision can eliminate the validity of field sobriety testing results. Acid reflux, diabetes, certain prescription medicines can have a dramatic effect on your breath alcohol testing results.

Bad Weather

Weather reports establishing high winds, low visibility, and other conditions are available to explain poor driving or poor balance.

Retrograde Extrapolation

When you consume alcohol, it takes time for it to absorb into your system. Essentially, you could have a number of beers or alcohol and not feel the effects to sometime later after you stop drinking. When a breath test is given you at the police station, it could very well be up to an hour after you were last driving. The breath test will give a result for what your BAC at the time of the test, but what about your BAC an hour prior, when you were actually driving? Retrograde extrapolation is the formula for determining BAC at a prior time. This may very well lead to your BAC being below the legal limit at the time you were actually driving, even though it was above the limit at the time of the test.

Interfering Substances

The breath testing machine works by measuring the amount of alcohol in your breath. If you have been exposed to certain fumes, substances and/or particles, a false reading could very well take place. A common example of this is a painter who is exposed to and has been inhaling, certain paint fumes throughout the day. Other substances such as cough drops, Listerine, or ethanol based products could have an impact as well.

Operating on Private Property

Operation is an essential element to Driving under the Influence. Where you actually operating the car or just sitting in or near it? Was your car on a public or private road? Was your car being operated on a Rhode Island road or a road that is owned by the Federal Government? A thorough investigation of where you were actually observed operating your car is required for a successful defense.

Online Resources for Newport DUI/DWI Cases

  • Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles
  • Newport DUI & Traffic Rules
  • DUI Law for Newport, RI
  • Newport Police Department
  • Newport County Sheriff’s Office
  • Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal: Newport DUI/DWI Cases
  • Murray Judicial Complex: Newport, Rhode Island
  • DUI Drink Wheel
  • City of Newport

Contact Newport DUI Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz for a free consultation today at 401-324-2992.

phone Request your free case evaluation today! (401) 324-2992


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From the moment that I first contacted Josh, he was nothing but professional. Josh got back to me immediately and conducted a phone interview on a holiday Monday at no cost to me. He was very forthright and truthful. By the end of our discussion I had decided to obtain Josh's services. During our discussion, Josh had already mapped out a plan if I did decide to go with him. Everything that Josh told me that day and every other time we spoke, was exactly spot on. I never felt so prepared. That should have come to no surprise to me considering Josh's resume and experiences. He seems to be one of the better known lawyers in the court system. His knowledge of judges, court clerks, state attorneys, and other lawyers is extremely helpful in getting his cases moved to the top of the docket. We never waited long in any of the courts I attended. Other court dates that I was not required to be there Josh let me know plenty of time in advance. There is nothing that comes as a surprise to him. I had never met Josh in person until our first court date but he knew exactly who I was and was totally prepared to litigate on my behalf. I would never hope to be in the situation that I was in again, but if I am I will call Josh immediately. I thought that if not for this problem, we would have been friends in another life. Josh is extremely prepared, professional, and well worth the fee.Do yourself a favor that if you are looking for a lawyer to help you through an alcohol related issue you can do no better that obtaining S.Joshua Macktaz as your representative.
Marty Orokos
13:04 09 Mar 20
Josh gave me a free consultation over the phone as I was unable to go to his office. He explained the entire process so I fully understood what to expect in and out of court, while making the experience as easy, and painless as possible. He will work directly with the court system to get you the best possible outcome, given your case. For mine, It went exactly as he said it would. I am extremely satisfied with his services!
Mike Alessandro
19:15 06 Mar 20
Josh was hands down the best. He was never misleading with any information and let me know step by step how everything was going to go. All of my questions and concerns were answered by him in a timely manner and he made the whole process as easy, stress free (considering the circumstances) as possible. I would HIGHLY recommend Mr. Macktaz as a DUI lawyer. Thank you again!
Em S
19:49 05 Mar 20
Josh is an incredible asset as your attorney. He truly is a master of his craft and will give you realistic expectations regarding your case. His honesty is truly commendable, keeping you in the loop at all times and on top of your case. Always prompt in his response, Josh is always willing to help ease your concerns regarding your legal issues. Can’t thank Josh enough for his help, the guy is the best and the only attorney I’d recommend to my friends and family!!
Mark V
19:13 05 Mar 20
Josh exceeded my expectations and made sure my case was as painless as possible from the first meeting. Not only was he professional, but he made me feel comfortable and gave me clarity to the extent of everything would work out. I hope I don’t have to, but I would choose to work with Josh again if any legal matters were come up again.
Jake Whitmarsh
23:39 05 Feb 20
This was my first time having to seek the services of a lawyer. Josh was friendly, transparent and incredibly informative. He helped me understand the process every step of the way. I'm grateful to have found him and wouldn't think twice about seeking his services again.
23:04 02 Feb 20
Josh was incredibly helpful in a difficult legal journey. I would absolutely hire him again if the need should arise. He came highly recommended and I now understand why. He made everything seem less scary and manageable.
Jill Lamere
16:33 01 Feb 20
Josh Macktaz is an extremely knowledgeable and skillful attorney who is a model of clarity in explaining even complex matters in the most comprehensible manner. He clearly outlined an effective strategy and then effectively implemented it. I give him my highest recommendation. On top of it all, he is a courteous and personable individual - moreover, a person with integrity
VINCENT M Colapietro
16:21 01 Feb 20
My experience with Josh was nothing short of great. From day one he was upfront about the process going forward and really helped ground me during what was an exceptionally stressful time. He is easy to get in contact with and always returns communications promptly via email or phone call. I'd highly recommend Josh to anyone who finds themselves in like circumstances, he is a fantastic lawyer who understands that good people make mistakes.
Thomas Briggs
12:21 22 Dec 19
Josh Macktaz, Esq. has a combination of strong analytical and advocacy skills to assist any client. His intelligence, experience, and communicative skills is exactly what you want defending you!! I highly recommend his services.
Ashley Napolitano
17:31 20 Dec 19
Can’t even imagine the mess I would be in with out Joshua’s help. I was guided from the prompt first returned phone call through the entire process. The following day after my event we meet in Newport for a free consultation and he basically told me how things would unfold. In the end I achieved the best possible outcome for me and I owe it to the relationships he has developed and the years of experience that he brings to the table.
david crowley
17:19 19 Dec 19
From the beginning my case had a lot of difficulties and as we continued, new obstacles kept coming up. Josh always took the time to explain everything to me and to make sure I understood what was going on with my case. Every obstacle we encountered, he was always able to work around it and find solutions. He worked very hard to make sure I got a fair result from my case. Overall, Josh is a lawyer that truly cares about his clients and would go the extra mile to help. I strongly believe I wouldn’t have received the results I got without a lawyer like Josh. Highly recommend his services.
Karina G
22:10 05 Dec 19
Great legal defense. Makes you feel comfortable every step of the way. Thank you for everything Josh.
Sam M
15:24 21 Nov 19
Superb layer. Explained everything very clearly for me and helped me greatly to get an aggressive driving charge dismissed. Will recommend him as a lawyer to anyone that is seeking one. Very professional and helpful. You will not go wrong with hiring Josh Macktaz as your lawyer.
Christopher White
15:40 13 Nov 19
Attorney Joshua Macktaz is very professional and personable, emanating energy and confidence in all he does. Informs you every step of the way and easy to reach via email or phone call. Very knowledgeable with the law and how he takes action to get the desired result is truly remarkable. If he says something will happen, you can bet your bottom dollar it will! I Would and Will recommend Attorney J. Macktaz to anyone in need of an excellent trustworthy Attorney.I really hope this review helps someone that is not sure where to turn for help.
Nicholas Silva
18:03 11 Oct 19
Joshua was awesome in every aspect with me and my husband for his DUI case would hands down reccomend him to anyone. He is very knowledgeable and will be there every step of the way to make this process as easy and painless as it can be. Overall we had a great experience.
Erin Barche
14:36 09 Sep 19
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brian car
13:17 06 Sep 19
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Jennifer Chandler
15:32 29 Aug 19
Mr. Macktaz handled my case in a prompt and professional manor with the necessary legal experience that achieved a positive and beneficial result.
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00:35 21 Aug 19
I chose Josh because he seemed experienced and reputable. I was right. Josh knew the ins and outs of my situation, and he provided comforting wisdom every step of the way. When all was said and done, he did exactly what he said he would do, and I couldn't be happier with the results.
Jon Doe
19:12 31 Jul 19
Excellent attorney. Did exactly what he said he would and didn't promise anything he couldn't. Very knowledgeable and professional.
Seth Med
15:31 31 Jul 19
Joshua Macktaz is a very good very professional lawyer. Throughout me case he handled it seriously and kept me in the loop even when I was not present in the court room. Joshua represented me over a year long trial, and he never gave me a issue and in the end he got me a great result. All around I seriously recommend Joshua as a lawyer.
Caleb Butler
18:43 30 Jul 19
Josh was very professional. Took time to answer all my questions in a timely fashion. Made me feel at ease about the situation. Great lawyer
Brandon Nantais
10:06 07 May 19
Mr. Macktaz is an outstanding lawyer. He goes above and beyond for his clients making sure they get the best possible outcome there is! He believes good people sometimes make bad mistakes. I would highly reccommend his services. He will be with you every step of the way.
Haley Nims
17:00 05 May 19
Josh Macktaz is is an excellent attorney who really goes above and beyond for his client.I found him to be very trustworthy and intelligent. I had a technical probation violation. I needed a good lawyer for representation and Josh came highly recommended. He was very honest, respectful and made you feel at ease throughout the whole process. I would highly recommend him to family & friends.Thank You Josh & God Bless -Sam
Sam Wlt
18:21 01 May 19
Josh is committed to following through with his clients and ensuring they are happy. He is not only thorough but he is very responsive and cares. I appreciated his help and he adequately explained the process.
Aly Starr
02:27 25 Feb 19
My Experience with Josh representing me was beyond what I could have hoped for. Josh explained his thoughts and exceptions on my case & followed through to receive the best outcome.. Cannot thank you enough Josh!
Troy McGann
13:12 15 Jan 19
I highly recommend the services of Josh Macktaz. He was responsive, efficient and very realistic about my case and the associated penalties. My legal costs were exactly as he suggested on our first call (which were fair). He is very knowledgeable of the Rhode Island law and has very strong contacts at the traffic tribunal. Related, he handled minor hearings without me which saved me money and travel time. He did the best possible job for a guy in my situation. Anyone that has a drunk driving charge in RI that does not consider Josh Macktaz is risking their future and wasting their dollars.
Chad M
23:10 13 Jan 19
My experience with Josh was beyond positive. If I could rate higher than five stars I would. Through out my entire process he was professional, straightforward, knowledgeable and understanding. It did not take long after meeting him I knew I needed him to represent me. Although my road was long Josh stuck with me every step of the way. There is no doubt in my mind without him I would not have been able to get the best possible outcome in my case. For that my family and I are forever grateful to him. He truly is a master of his craft and a fighter through and through. If you need representation look no further " This is the Man you want In your corner."
Daniel James
14:08 22 Dec 18
I hired Joshua Mactaz to represent me. He did an amazing job. He is very knowledgeable, hard worker and will do anything for you. I would recommend him to anyone and I would certainly have him represent me again.
Susan DeFedele
06:41 14 Dec 18

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