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DUI – DWI

Newport RI Breathalyzer Refusal Information

Rhode Island DUI Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz calls Newport Rhode Island his home. His knowledge of the local area and affinity for Newport gives him a special understanding of the nature of alcohol related incidents there. This personal knowledge of Newport and it’s law enforcement procedures provides him with a unique understanding of local procedures when he provides aggressive and effective representation to individuals facing DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and related Newport RI drunk driving offenses such as breathalyzer refusal.

As a former Rhode Island Special Assistant Attorney General from 1993-1997 Attorney Macktaz has extensive experience with DUI as a prosecutor and has used that knowledge to successfully defend hundreds of private clients accused of drunk driving offenses.

Before becoming a private Rhode Island Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer, Attorney Macktaz lectured in-coming Rhode Island police academy cadets as a AG Prosecutor on proper drunk driving investigations and prosecutions. This unique experience has afforded Mr. Macktaz a wealth of knowledge not readily available to the average criminal defense attorney. Early intervention by a qualified and experienced Rhode Island DUI Attorney is critical to success in your case.

You need a Newport, Rhode Island DUI Attorney who is knowledgeable about Rhode Island criminal laws on matters of drunk driving (also known as DUI, DWI, driving under the influence, drunk driving, and driving while intoxicated). Aggressively protecting client’s rights and freedoms in criminal and DUI cases is what Rhode Island Defense Attorney S. Joshua Macktaz does for a living, every day in courts across Rhode Island.

He is available at anytime to discuss your case. Because Rhode Island Rhode Island Drunk Driving Lawyer Joshua Macktaz serves all towns in Rhode Island, you never need to worry about him not practicing in your town.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Newport, Rhode Island, call Newport RI DUI Attorney S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq. today at401-285-2996.

Newport RI DUI 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.

Newport Rhode Island DUI Penalties

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

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

  • 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 Defense Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz for a free consultation today at 401.285-2996.

phone Request your free case evaluation today! (401)285-2996

Testimonials

200+ reviews
five star ratings on Google

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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