A Premiere Rhode Island Law Firm

DUI trends in Rhode Island and across the nation

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can carry stiff penalties according to state law. A DUI can affect one’s professional and personal reputation, career, or college education. If you get a DUI in Rhode Island, it is important for you to be aware of possible penalties and your legal options.

Drunk driving statistics for 2022

Even when being legally drunk, a driver can still cause accidents. Since 2019, many people have admitted to drunk driving, and doing so often. There are also certain demographics that are most affected by fatal drunk driving crashes. The most impacted are 21-24 year-olds followed by 35-44. 45-54 and 16-20 year-olds are equally tied in third place.

Male motorists are more likely to be in deadly crashes. Drunk driving deaths are most likely to occur at night. When it comes to arrests, 21-29 year-olds experience the most arrests followed by those in their 30s and 40s.

What is a DUI ?

A blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent is the minimum for a DUI charge in Rhode Island. However, a BAC between 0.08 and 0.10 incurs less severe penalties than a BAC between 0.10 and 0.15.

Drunk driving penalties in Rhode Island

Rhode Island law enforcement officers on average arrest about 3,000 people every year for driving under the influence. A DUI is generally considered a misdemeanor. The penalties, when the DUI is successfully charged, depend on the BAC level and the person’s history of offenses. For the first offense, a person can face jail time for up to one year. The third offense carries a sentence that ranges from three to five years. Fines can range from $1,000 to $3,000, and licenses can be suspended anywhere from three months to three years. Additional penalties may include community service, attendance at a safe driving school, and DMV-imposed administrative penalties.

What factors impact a DUI in Rhode Island?

The following factors can enhance punishment that extends beyond the mandatory minimum:

  • Previous DUI convictions (even if the 5-year period for a second offense has already passed)
  • Having an exceedingly high blood alcohol content
  • A motor vehicle accident caused the DUI charge (even if it was a single-car accident)
  • Someone was injured as a result of the accident
  • A “bad” criminal record (even if non-DUI related)
  • Having a “bad” driving record (including moving violations)

The policies of your judge and the reputation of your DUI defense attorney affect the outcome of your case. If you are successful, you can have the DUI penalties reduced or dismissed.