Will I Have to Get an Ignition Interlock Device for a DUI in Rhode Island?

Information on Ignition Interlock Devices in the Ocean State of RI

The rules and regulations that govern drinking and driving, DUI & DWI charges, also have the same RI Ignition Interlock device laws in all cities across the state of Rhode Island including Warwick, Narragansett, Providence, Cranston, Newport, and Woonsocket. Anyone operating a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more will be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). For those who are subsequently convicted of this crime, they face a number of penalties including fines, a driver’s license suspension, possible jail time, and the possibility of having to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) to get a suspended driver’s license back.

Ignition Interlock Device for a DUI in Rhode Island Government research was conducted to help determine the level of BAC that affects an individual’s ability to drive – most drivers with a BAC of 0.05 percent are too impaired to drive and all drivers with a BAC of 0.08 percent are too impaired to drive. This is the reason almost all states have adopted the threshold of 0.08 percent BAC as grounds to be charged with drinking and driving related crimes. Additionally, minors (under 21) with a BAC of 0.02 percent and commercial drivers with a BAC of 0.04 percent can also be charged with DUI in Rhode Island. Given the serious new laws now in place for even a first DUI offense conviction or guilty plea, a person will need to establish a great defense as soon as possible in order to find potential ways how to avoid getting a suspended license or Ignition Interlock device requirement, as part of the mandatory penalties. This is why having the details of the arrest reviewed online by us is so important, so the best RI DUI defense strategies can be applied before the costs and consequences take effect.

What Are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Rhode Island?

When drivers go to court and are convicted of DUI or DWI charges in RI, they face a variety of punishments, which now will likely also require having to get an Ignition Interlock device installed in any car a person will be driving. These penalties are a means to discourage individuals from partaking in drinking and driving again as well as to serve as an example to the community. First time offenders of drinking and driving, or those with no previous offenses on their record, face the following penalties:

  • Up to One Year in Jail
  • Fines of Between $100 and $500
  • Ignition Interlock Device Requirement For 1 Year On Average
  • RI Driver’s License Suspension of Two to 18 Months

Second Offense drivers of DUI, DWI, or OUI will face harsher penalties in Rhode Island – which include longer driver’s license suspensions, longer jail sentences, and higher fines. Repeat offenders are those with previous drinking and driving offenses on their record, specifically in the last five years in the state of Rhode Island – this state currently enforces a five year “lookback” period. Second time offenders of drinking and driving, or those with one previous offense on their record in the last five years, face the following penalties:

  • 10 Days to One Year in Jail
  • Fines of Between $400 and $1,000
  • Driver’s License Suspension of One to Two Years
  • DUI Interlock Requirement for RI Driver’s License Reinstatement

Third time offenders of drinking and driving, or those with two previous offenses on their record in the last five years, face the following penalties:

  • One to Five Years in Jail
  • Fines of Between $400 and $5,000
  • Minimum Driver’s License Suspension of Two Years
  • Car Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock Requirement for Driver’s License Reinstatement

What is an Ignition Interlock Device, and How Does It Work With Existing RI DUI & DWI Laws?

An Ignition Interlock device in RI is an instrument used in drinking and driving offenders’ vehicles to help prevent them from getting behind the wheel after drinking. This device is usually installed on the vehicle’s dashboard and operates almost the same way as the Breathalyzer devices used by law enforcement officers. Once the device is installed, drivers need to provide a breath sample in order to start the vehicle – if the sample they provide is above the pre-programmed threshold, which is usually set at 0.02 percent, the device stops the vehicle from starting.

The DUI Interlock device can also be calibrated to require random retests after the vehicle has started – this is meant to prevent a third party from providing the initial breath sample to get the vehicle started. When the device signals to do so, drivers need to blow into the device to provide the sample – if this sample is above the pre-programmed threshold, the event is logged, an alarm sounds, and the device alert the driver to pull the vehicle over and turn it off. The IID does not shut the vehicle off when the breath sample provided is too high.

When is Using an Ignition Interlock Device Required in the State of Rhode Island?

The state of Rhode Island has approved the installation and use of Ignition Interlock device for drivers who have been tried and convicted of drinking and driving offenses. The car Breathalyzer Interlock are authorized most frequently for the following 3 types of situations:

1. DUI offenders with a BAC of 0.15 percent or more
2. Second or subsequent DUI offenders
3. Drinking and driving offenders who refuse chemical testing for BAC repeatedly

Additionally, third time or subsequent RI DUI offenders may be required to use an IID for a period of two years. Also, IID requirements begin after any period of incarceration.

Who is Responsible for Paying for the Total Cost of the Ignition Interlock Device in RI?

In Rhode Island DUI &DWI cases where the court has authorized offenders to get an Ignition Interlock device, it is the offender’s responsibility to pay for the device as well as its installation and maintenance. Individuals should expect to pay upwards of $100 to have the IID installed as well as between $70 and $125 a month in lease payments. It is important to keep in mind the cost of leasing and installing these devices vary between providers – in fact, some IID providers even offer free installation should individuals lease devices from their company.

What is the Process of Obtaining an Ignition Interlock Device in Rhode Island?

In RI cases where the court has authorized DUI and DWI offenders to install an Interlock device, they likely have a deadline in which they need to lease the device and have it installed. First, offenders need to lease the IID from a state approved IID provider for Rhode Island – these providers can be found all across the state, and a list of approved providers can also be found on the Rhode Island DMV website. It is important to lease the device from an approved provider to remain within IID guidelines.

After the Ignition Interlock has been leased from a state of RI approved provider, it is also important to ensure the device is professionally installed to the state’s standards. Most car Breathalyzer Interlock providers install the device as well. Once this has been completed, individuals need to report back to the judge, court, their probation officer, and/or the DMV to alert them the IID has been obtained and installed – often, offenders need to provide a copy of the device’s lease agreement as well as a copy of the receipt of installation. At this time, offenders’ licenses can be reinstated, and they can begin to drive again by using the IID. After a RI Ignition Interlock attorney reviews a person’s own DUI arrest circumstances online with us as to what took place, the local lawyer can then be able to discuss what possible options are for how to avoid having to get an Ignition Interlock device in:

[column col=”1/4″]Bristol County
Kent County
Newport County
Providence County
Washington County
[/column] [column col=”1/4″]Ashaway
Central Falls
Cumberland Hill
East Providence
[/column] [column col=”1/4″]Hope Valley
Narragansett Pier
Newport East
North Providence
[/column] [column col=”1/4″]Tiverton
Valley Falls
Wakefield Peacedale
West Warwick