Bristol Drunk Driving Arrest

As reported in the July 27, 2011 edition of the Providence Journal, a Bristol firefighter has been arrested and charged with drunk driving ("DUI"). The arrest occurred after the man went to the firehouse, stole a truck and took it for a ride. He later crashed the vehicle into a tree. In addition to the drunk driving charge, the man has also been charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.


Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 31-27-2, drunk driving is defined as, whoever drives or otherwise operates any vehicle in the state while under the influence of any intoxicating liquor, drugs, toluene, or any controlled substance as defined in chapter 28 of title 21, or any combination of these, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor except as provided in subdivision (d)(3) and shall be punished as provided in subsection (d) of this section.


The penalties include:


(d) Every person found to have violated subdivision (b)(1) of this section shall be sentenced as follows: for a first violation whose blood alcohol concentration is eight one-hundredths of one percent (.08%) but less than one-tenth of one percent (.1%) by weight or who has a blood presence of any scheduled controlled substance as defined in subdivision (b)(2) shall be subject to a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than three hundred dollars ($300), shall be required to perform ten (10) to sixty (60) hours of public community restitution, and/or shall be imprisoned for up to one year. The sentence may be served in any unit of the adult correctional institutions in the discretion of the sentencing judge and/or shall be required to attend a special course on driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance, and his or her driver's license shall be suspended for thirty (30) days up to one hundred eighty (180) days.

(ii) Every person convicted of a first violation whose blood alcohol concentration is one-tenth of one percent (.1%) by weight or above but less than fifteen hundredths of one percent (.15%) or whose blood alcohol concentration is unknown shall be subject to a fine of not less than one hundred ($100) dollars nor more than four hundred dollars ($400) and shall be required to perform ten (10) to sixty (60) hours of public community restitution and/or shall be imprisoned for up to one year. The sentence may be served in any unit of the adult correctional institutions in the discretion of the sentencing judge. The person's driving license shall be suspended for a period of three (3) months to twelve (12) months. The sentencing judge shall require attendance at a special course on driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance and/or alcoholic or drug treatment for the individual.

(iii) Every person convicted of a first offense whose blood alcohol concentration is fifteen hundredths of one percent (.15%) or above, or who is under the influence of a drug, toluene, or any controlled substance as defined in subdivision (b)(1) shall be subject to a fine of five hundred dollars ($500) and shall be required to perform twenty (20) to sixty (60) hours of public community restitution and/or shall be imprisoned for up to one year. The sentence may be served in any unit of the adult correctional institutions in the discretion of the sentencing judge. The person's driving license shall be suspended for a period of three (3) months to eighteen (18) months. The sentencing judge shall require attendance at a special course on driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance and/or alcohol or drug treatment for the individual.


Although serious, the DUI charge is a misdemeanor. The man faces more serious felony charges of larceny over $500.00 for the theft of the truck. Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 11-41-1, larceny is defined as:

Every person who shall steal any money, goods, or chattels, or any note of the general treasurer of this state for the payment of money, any bank bill, any certificate of any bank or of any public officer or corporation securing the payment of money to any person or certifying it to be due, any certificate of stock in any corporation, any order entitling a person to money or other article, or any bill of exchange, bill of lading, railroad ticket, bond, warrant, obligation, bill, or promissory note for the payment of money, or other valuable property, or any record or paper belonging to any public officer, or any writ, warrant, or other legal process, or any book or part of one containing an account, any receipt for money or other article paid or delivered, any adjustment or document of any kind relating to the payment of money or delivery of any article, any indenture of apprenticeship, or any deed, covenant, indenture, or assurance whatsoever respecting any property, real or personal, shall be deemed guilty of larceny.


The penalties include:


(a) Any person convicted of any offense under §§ 11-41-1 – 11-41-6, except § 11-41-3, if the value of the property or money stolen, received, embezzled, fraudulently appropriated, converted, or obtained, received, taken, or secreted by false pretenses or otherwise with intent to cheat, defraud, embezzle, or fraudulently convert exceeds five hundred dollars ($500), or if the property is a firearm as defined in § 11-47-5.1, regardless of its value, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) years or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or both. If the value of the property or money does not exceed five hundred dollars ($500), the person shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both. Any person convicted of an offense under § 11-41-2 who shall be found to have knowingly obtained the property from a person under eighteen (18) years of age, notwithstanding the value of the property, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) years or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or both.


(b) Any person convicted of an offense in violation of §§ 11-41-1 – 11-41-7, except § 11-41-3, which involves a victim who is a person sixty-five (65) years of age or older at the time of the offense and which involves property or money stolen, received, embezzled, fraudulently appropriated, converted, or obtained, received, taken, or secreted by false pretenses or otherwise with intent to cheat, defraud, embezzle, or fraudulently convert, with a value in excess of five hundred dollars ($500), shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than two (2) years but not more than fifteen (15) years or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or both. If the value of the property or money does not exceed five hundred dollars ($500), the person shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year but not more than five (5) years or by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars ($3,000), or both.


If you or a family member has been charged with drunk driving (DUI), reckless driving or other criminal offenses, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Please contact Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at rhh@rhumphreylaw.com.