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What are the penalties for a DUI in Rhode Island?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Driving under the influence carries serious risks to everyone on the road. In Rhode Island, if you are arrested on such charges, you can face certain penalties based on the circumstances of your case.

Rhode Island’s DUI laws

In Rhode Island, driving under the influence is a misdemeanor for a first-time offense. By law, it’s illegal for anyone behind the wheel to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.

If a police officer pulls a driver over with reasonable suspicion and notices that they appear intoxicated, they can request them to take a Breathalyzer test. A person does not have to submit to this test, but they could be arrested in that situation. If it’s later found that the individual is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, this could result in two separate charges of DUI and refusal to submit to a breath test.

Penalties for DUI in Rhode Island

For a first-time conviction of DUI, a person could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $500. It’s also possible for the person’s driver’s license to be suspended for two to 18 months. Community service is often ordered as well and could range from 10 to 60 hours.

A second DUI conviction carries 10 days to up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, license suspension for one to two years and an ignition interlock device on the individual’s vehicle.

A third DUI conviction carries even harsher penalties. They include one to five years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, license suspension for at least two years and an IID on the person’s vehicle.

Remaining sober when you have to drive is the best way to avoid accidents and these severe consequences.