In the eyes of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Rhode Island is one of the weakest states in the country in terms of DUI legislation. However, even though the state only rates 1-star in the eyes of MADD, some of the fines and penalties for first time and repeat offenders rival those of some of the “tougher” states in the country.
Rhode Island DUI by the Numbers (based on 2012 overall numbers)
The decrease in fatalities per 100,000 residents in Rhode Island is very impressive. One area of concern in this particular state is that 100 percent of repeat offenders in fatal crashes during the time of the survey was .15+.
- 2,548 total DUI arrests (12 from under-18 drivers)
- 24 total alcohol-related fatalities (3 from under-21 drivers)
- 30.4 percent decrease in alcohol-related fatalities
- 33.4 percent decrease in alcohol-related fatalities for under-21 drivers
- 81.2 percent of fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15+
DUI First Offense Penalties in Rhode Island
The state does not require a mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) for first time offenders, but the remaining penalties and fines for first-time offenders are rather stiff. The washout period in Rhode Island for repeat offenders is five years.
- Monetary fines ranging from $100 to $500
- No mandatory IID required
- Up to one year in jail
- License suspension ranging from two to 18 months
Rhode Island does have an implied consent law in place. If you refuse to take chemical tests after a DUI arrest, you will face the following penalties and fines for a first-time offense:
- Six month license suspension
- Monetary fine ranging from $200 to $500
- Between 10 and 60 hours of community service
Should You Hire a DUI Attorney if Arrested and Charged in Rhode Island?
Trying to fight a DUI in court without an attorney is usually a mistake. Even if you think the officer has you dead to rights, a skilled attorney may be able to find a weakness in the case or an error in the way the chemical test was performed or the manner in which the evidence was handled. He or she may even be able to plead the case out to a lesser offense, such as wet reckless, allowing you to avoid the DUI on your driving record. For more information about DUI laws and attorneys in Rhode Island, fill out the free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form today.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.