Coventry DUI Charge Dismissed After Trial

After a serious automobile accident in the town of Coventry, Rhode Island, our client was charged with drunk driving ("DUI"), Refusal to submit to a chemical test, laned roadway violation, and leaving the lane of travel.

At the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal, the Chief Magistrate dismissed the Refusal charge and both traffic violations based on our argument that the motorist was  misinformed of the Rights and Penalties associated with a Refusal charge.  The Penalties associated with a 1st Offense Refusal to submit to a chemical test include:

  • $200.00 to $500.00 fine;
  • Six (6) to twelve (12) months loss of license;
  • Ten (10) to sixty (60) hours of community service;
  • DWI School; and
  • Costs and Assessments.

After a trial before the 3rd Division District Court, the Judge held that based on our cross-examination of the Arresting Officer, the State was unable to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that our client was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to a degree which rendered him incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle despite the fact he had operated a motor vehicle which had been involved in a serious accident.  Penalties for a 1st Offense DUI observation charge include:

  • Imprisonment for up to one (1) year;
  • $100.00  to $400.00 fine;
  • Three (3) to twelve (12) months loss of license;
  • Ten (10) to sixty (60) hours of community service;
  • DWI School or Treatment; and
  • Costs and Assessments.

In any drunk driving ("DUI", "DWI", "OUI") case, the State must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, five (5) key elements:

  • That the police had reasonable suspicion to stop the suspect's vehicle or to seize the suspect;
  • That the police can prove that the defendant was the operator of the motor vehicle;
  • That the police have probable cause to arrest the defendant for driving while intoxicated;
  • That the police can prove that the defendant was under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs to a degree which rendered him incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle; and
  • That the police can prove compliance with the defendant's rights pursuant to R.I.G.L 31-27-3.
If you or a family member has been charged with drunk driving or Refusal to submit to a chemical test, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process.  Contact Robert H. Humphrey at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at rhh@rhumphreylaw.com.