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What penalties do you face for a DUI in Rhode Island?

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2023 | Criminal Defense

While the state of Rhode Island takes drunk driving very seriously, not all convictions will result in jail time. Many factors contribute to the range of penalties that you face if convicted of driving under the influence.

Test refusal

If a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of a DUI, they may put you through field sobriety tests and may offer a preliminary breath test at the scene. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) reads above the legal limit on the preliminary test, the officer may arrest you and take you to the police station. Once there, you will need to take a chemical test, also known as the breathalyzer test. While you have the right to refuse the preliminary test, you face legal ramifications if you refuse to take the breathalyzer test, which may include:

  • Six-month license suspension for the first test refusal
  • One-year license suspension for a second offense
  • Community service
  • Fines ranging from $200-$500 for the first offense and up to $1,000 for the second offense

Financial DUI costs

The financial costs from a DUI start to accumulate from the moment a police officer arrests you. You may face the following financial penalties:

  • Up to $2,500 for a bail bond
  • Car towing fees
  • Court fees
  • Fines if convicted
  • Driver’s education courses if required by the court
  • Fees to reinstate your license

Criminal penalties

A first or second DUI conviction may result in up to a year in jail regardless of your BAC. A third offense for a BAC of 0.15% or higher results in up to five years of prison time while a lower BAC can still result in up to three years.

Always remember to stay safe and refrain from drunk driving. You will avoid both financial and criminal penalties by remaining sober behind the wheel.