Rhode Island State Delegates

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SUMMARY OF RHODE ISLAND ALCOHOL RELATED STATUTES

 
 
COMMON ACRONYM(S) USED TO DESCRIBE DRUNK DRIVINGDWI: Driving While Intoxicated, DUI: Driving under influence (of liquor or drugs){note}R.I.G.L. §31-27-2.{/note}
 
PROHIBITED VEHICULAR ACTIVITYDrives or otherwise operates {note}R.I.G.L. §31-27-2(a).{/note}
 
COVERED VEHICLES OR DEVICESAny vehicle{note}Ibid.{/note}
 
COVERED LOCATIONS(anywhere) in the state{note}Id.{/note}
 
DRUNK DRIVING OFFENSESPlease see 31-27-2 as attached
 
DEGREE OF IMPAIRMENT REQUIRED FOR DRUNK DRIVING:
 
For alcohol: Measured by blood alcohol concentration (.08%) or more by a chemical analysis of blood, breath, or urine sample.{note}R.I.G.L. §31-27-2(b)(1).{/note}
 
For drugs (scheduled controlled substance): as shown by analysis of a blood or urine sample.
 
PENALTIES – DWI{note}Current DUI penalty inconsistencies are before the R.I. Supreme Court.{/note}
First offense: .08-.1
Penalty: Fine of not less than $100 nor more than $300, 10-60 hours of community service and/or imprisonment up to one year, suspension of license from 30-180 days.
 
First offense .1-.15 or BAC unknown
Penalty: Fine of not less than $100 nor more than $400, 10-60 hours of community service and/or imprisonment for up to one year, suspension of license for a period of three months to twelve months.
 
First offense .15 or more
Penalty: Fine of $500, 20-60 hours of community service and/or imprisonment for up to one year, suspension of license of 3-18 months.
 
Second offense within 5 years: .08-.15 or BAC unknown
Penalty: Mandatory fine of $400, suspension of license for 1-2 years, sentence of not less than ten days nor more than one year in jail, substance abuse counseling (15 weeks), 2 year prohibition on operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock system for a period of 2 years following the completion of the sentence.
 
Second offense within 5 years: .15 or more
Penalty: Mandatory imprisonment of not less than 6 months nor more than one year,substance abuse counseling (15 weeks), mandatory fine of not less than $1,000 and a mandatory license suspension of 2 years.
 
Third or subsequent offense within 5 year period: .08-.15 or BAC unknown
Penalty: Mandatory fine of $400, license suspension of 2 years to 3 years, sentence of not less than 1 year and not more than 3 years,substance abuse counseling (15 weeks), year prohibition on operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock system for a period of 2 years following the completion of the sentence.
 
Third or subsequent offense within 5 year period: .15 or more
Penalty: Mandatory imprisonment not less than 3 years nor more than 5 years,substance abuse counseling (15 weeks), mandatory fine not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 and a mandatory license suspension for a period of 3 years.
 
DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED{note}R.I.G.L. §31-27-2.7.{/note}
This statute is applied to any person under the age of 21 but at least 18 years of age who takes a test at the request of a law enforcement officer. The person will be deemed to have been driving while impaired if the test determines the persons blood alcohol concentration to be at least two-hundredths of one percent (.02%) but less than one-tenth of one percent (.1%) by weight.
 
Penalty: A fine of not more than $250 and 30 hours of community service,{note}R.I.G.L. §31-27-2.7(1).{/note} license suspension for not less than one nor more than 3 months on a first violation (if person accepts course attendance and does in fact complete said course).{note}R.I.G.L. §31-27-2.7(2).{/note}
On a second and subsequent violation, the fine shall by no more than $250, a $300 highway safety assessment fee, up to 60 hours of community service, and license suspension of not less than 3 nor more than 6 months, plus treatment program and driving while intoxicated course attendance.{note}R.I.G.L. §31-27-2.7(3).{/note}
*Every person convicted of a violation under this section shall also pay a highway assessment fine of five hundred dollars ($500)
*Every person convicted of a violation under this section shall also pay a Health Dept. assessment fine of two hundred dollars ($200)
 
STATUTORY DRUNK DRIVING PRESUMPTIONS
 
Percent by weight of alcohol in the blood shall be based upon milligrams of alcohol per one hundred (100) cubic centimeters of blood.{note}R.I.G.L. §31-27-2(d)(7)(e).{/note}
 
IMPLIED CONSENT LAWS
 
Elements of Refusal: R.I. Gen. Laws 31-27-2.1 states that the prosecution must prove the following four elements:
  1. That the law enforcement officer making the sworn report had reasonable grounds to believe that the arrested person had been driving a motor vehicle within the state while under the influence of intoxicating liquor..;
  2. That the person, while under arrest, refused to submit to the test upon the request of the law enforcement officer;
  3. That the person had been informed of his or her rights in accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws 31-27-3 (the right to a physician); and
  4. That the person had been informed of the penalties incurred as a result of non-compliance with this section.
 
 
 
PENALTIES FOR REFUSAL
 
First Violation Penalty: $200-$500 fine, 10-60 hours of community service, license suspension of 6 months-1 year.{note}R.I.G.L. §31-27-2.1(a)(1).{note}
 
Second Violation Penalty: Imprisonment for not more than six months, $600-$1,000 fine, 60-100 hours of community service, license suspension of 1-2 years.{note}R.I.G.L. §31-27-2.1(a)(2).{/note}
 
Third or Subsequent Violation: Imprisonment for not more than one year, $800-$1,000 fine, not less than 100 hours of community service, 2-5 year license suspension, hearing at the end of suspension period to determine reinstatement of license.{note}R.I.G.L. §31-27-2.1(a)(3){/note}
 
BLOOD-DRAWING STATUTE{note}R.I.G.L. §31-27-2(c)(4).{/note}
 
The test [must be] performed according to methods and with equipment provided by the director of the department of health of the state of Rhode Island and by an authorized individual.{note}See Rules and Regulations pertaining to Preliminary Breath Testing and Standards for the Determination of the Amount of Alcohol and/or Drugs in a Persons Blood by Chemical Analysis of the Breath, Blood and/or Urine or Other Bodily Substances, Rhode Island Department of Health, Updated May, 2006. {/note}
 
PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
 See 31-27-2(b)(2)
“Whoever drives, or otherwise operates, any vehicle in the state with a blood presence of any scheduled controlled substance as defined within chapter 28 of title 21, as shown by analysis of a blood or urine sample, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in subsection (d).”
 
RIGHT TO PHYSICAL EXAMINATION
 
A person arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of narcotic drugs or intoxicating liquor. . . shall have the right to be examined at his or her own expense immediately after the person�s arrest by a physician selected by the person, and the officer so arresting or so charging the person shall immediately inform the person of this right and afford the person a reasonable opportunity to exercise the right, and at the trial of the person the prosecution must prove that he or she was so informed and was afforded that opportunity.{note}R.I.G.L. §31-27-3.{/note}
 
 
RIGHT TO USE TELEPHONE FOR CALL TO ATTORNEY BAIL BONDSMAN{note}R.I.G.L. §12-7-20{/note}
 
Any person arrested under the provision of this chapter shall be afforded, as soon after being detained as practicable, not to exceed one hour from the time of detention, the opportunity to make use of a telephone for the purpose of securing an attorney or arranging for bail; provided, that whenever a person who has been detained for an alleged violation of the law relating to drunk driving must be immediately transported to a medical facility for treatment, he or she shall be afforded the use of a telephone as soon as practicable, which may not exceed one hour from the time of detention. The telephone calls afforded by this section shall be carried out in such a manner as to provide confidentiality between the arrestee and the recipient of the call.
 
State of RI: Division of Motor Vehicles  http://www.dmv.ri.gov/
RI Attorney General’s Office  http://www.riag.state.ri.us/
RI Department of Health  http://www.health.ri.gov
RI Bar Association  http://www.ribar.com
RI Association Criminal Defense Lawyers  http://www.riacdl.com
RI Public Defender’s Office  http://www.ripd.org
 
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