At Rego Law, we are well-versed in DUI law in Bristol, RI. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is illegal in every state in the United States. Drunk driving is generally defined as driving with a blood alcohol content of above .08 percent; however, this number is usually limited to .04 percent for the driver of a commercial vehicle. In addition, zero-tolerance laws in many states do not allow teenage drivers to have even a trace of detectable alcohol in their systems. A DUI charge can lead to the loss of a driver’s license, jail time, fines, community service, or a host of other consequences. Understanding the laws and penalties associated with drunk driving can help you avoid a violation or proceed accordingly if a violation has already been issued.
- Rego Law understands you may be left with many questions about your DUI charge. Contact us for a free initial phone consultation if you or someone you love has been charged with drunk driving in the State of Rhode Island – we may be to help. Do not stand idly by while your future is in jeopardy.
For a first-time conviction, potential punishments include up to one year in jail, 10 to 60 hours of community service, a fine of up to $500, depending on the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and other factors, and a driver’s license suspension for 30 days to 18 months, depending on the BAC.
A second DUI conviction within 5 years of the first can be penalized by up to 3 years in jail (or 5 years for a BAC of .15 or above), a fine of up to $400 (or $1,000 for a BAC of .15 or above), and a driver’s license suspension for up to 2 years. There may be the required use of an ignition interlock device for up to 2 years and required drug or alcohol treatment.
If you are convicted of felony DUI with a BAC of .08 to .15, you could face a $400 fine, 1 to 3 years in jail, a driver’s license suspension for 2 to 3 years, mandatory alcohol treatment, and a mandatory ignition interlock device in your vehicle for up to 2 years.
If you are convicted of felony DUI with a BAC over .15, you may face penalties such as a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, 3 to 5 years in jail, a driver’s license suspension for up to 3 years, and the seizure and sale of your vehicle by the state.
The Rhode Island penalties for drunk driving second and third (2nd and 3rd) offenses are very severe and include a substantial license loss and mandatory jail sentence.
Administrative License Revocation and DUI – Breathalyzer Refusal
Administrative License Revocation (ALR) is the legal process through which your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked. You may have to submit to an ALR if you are convicted of driving with a BAC above .08 or if you refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test after being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. The length of time for which your license is suspended will depend on your history of prior convictions and other factors.
The minimum lengths of suspension for each DUI conviction are:
❏ First DUI Conviction: 45 Days
❏ Second DUI Conviction: 1 Year
❏ Third DWI Conviction: 2 Years
Your license suspension or revocation may be longer if your BAC was above .15 or if other aggravating factors apply to your case. If you have been accused of drunk driving, you may lose your right to drive for weeks, months, or even years.