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Drunk Driving Laws Rhode Island

The dangers of drunken driving

Drunk driving is a major problem that can cause accidents due to the impairment of the driver because of excess alcohol in the blood. DUI or drunk under the influence is where someone who is drunks drives a vehicle causing risk to himself, his passengers, and others on the street. 28% of all deaths due to accidents occur because of drunken driving. More than one million drivers are arrested every year due to DUI related offenses. There is one death every 50 minutes due to DUI. This is why states pass tough DUI Laws and impose stringent punishments for offenders.

Rhode Island Drunk Driving Laws
Rhode Island Drunk Driving Laws

Drunk Driving Laws in the state of Rhode Island use the term DWI instead of DUI. DWI is Driving While Intoxicated. The Drunk Driving Law in the state makes it illegal for a driver to operate a vehicle in any of the following situations:

  • When the blood alcohol content (BAC) is equal to or greater than 0.08%. For commercial drivers, BAC of 0.04% or higher is considered an offense. For those who are below 21 years of age, the BAc limit prescribed is 0.02%.
  • Driving while intoxicated due to the consumption of alcohol, drug, or any other such controlled substance.
  • Having any quantity of an illegal drug in their blood.

Any person driving a vehicle under any of the above circumstances is guilty of an offense and is punishable by the laws of the state. The state has an implied consent law that makes it compulsory for offenders to undergo a blood test if apprehended by the police. Refusal is a punishable offense.

Drunk Driving Laws, DUI, DUI Laws, Rhode Island Drunk Driving Law
Punishment for Drunk Driving in Rhode Island

Refusal to undergo a blood test is an offense and can lead to suspension of the driving license for a period of 6 months. A second-time repetition of this offense can lead to suspension of the license for one year. If repeated for a third time, then the suspension period of the driving license will be for 2 to 3 years.

For committing a DWI offense in the state, the punishments when the offense is committed for the first time are:

  • Imprisonment for up to 1 year.
  • A fine of $100 to $400, can be increased to $500 if the BAC is 0.15% or more.
  • The driving license is suspended for 30 days to 12 months. If the BAC is more than 0.15%, then the suspension period will be for 3 months to 18 months.

In case the offense is committed for a second time, then the punishments are:

  • Imprisonment for 10 days to 1 year. If BAC >= 0.15%, jail term will be from 6 to 12 months.
  • A fine of $400 (increased to $1000 for BAC of 0.15% or more).
  • License suspension of 1 to 2 years. (Minimum 2 years if BAC is 0.15% or more).

When the offense is repeated for the third time or after that, the punishments under the law are:

  • 1 to 3 years of jail term. (Will be 3 to 5 years for BAC 0.15% or more).
  • A fine of $400 ($1000 to $5000 for BAC of 0.15% or more).
  • Suspension of driving license for a period of 2 to 3 years. If BAC is 0.15% or more, then the suspension will be for 3 years.

The law for all offenses additionally prescribes a DWI treatment and a $500 highway safety assessment fee.

Those under 21 years of age can face a fine of up to $250, suspension of 1 to 3 months, and 30 hours community services on conviction.

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