There’s a laundry list of reasons why driving under the influence (DUI) is dangerous. Intoxication impairs a driver’s judgment and decision-making ability. It can also slow a driver’s reaction time and alter their perception. All these things significantly raise the risk of causing a vehicular accident.
To keep roads safe and discourage intoxicated driving, officers can charge drivers with DUI, which is a criminal offense. But there will be occasions when an intoxicated driver manages to cause an accident, leading to another person’s death. If this happens, the driver can face criminal charges for DUI, resulting in death.
Rhode Island law on DUI resulting in death
According to state law, a driver who causes the death of another due to their intoxicated driving commits the offense of DUI resulting in death. It’s a felony offense that carries severe penalties on conviction.
Notably, this criminal offense is separate from a DUI charge. So, a driver can face both DUI and DUI resulting in death charges.
The penalties for DUI resulting in death
Any person convicted of DUI resulting in death faces the following penalties:
- First violation: A conviction leads to up to 15 years of imprisonment in a state prison and up to $10,000 in fines. In addition, the driver’s license is revoked for five years. A judge can also order the driver to complete an alcohol or drug treatment program.
- Second or subsequent violation within five years of the previous violation: A conviction leads to up to 20 years of imprisonment in a state prison and up to $20,000 in fines. The state also revokes the driver’s license for five years. A judge can also order the driver to complete an alcohol or drug treatment program.
A driver separately convicted of DUI can also face another set of penalties.
Rhode Island takes a firm stance against DUI offenses, particularly those with fatal consequences. If you face charges for DUI and DUI resulting in death, consult with a legal professional who can provide personalized guidance based on the specifics of your case.