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 if convicted of drunk driving include a fine, community service, a period of license suspension, DUI School or alcohol counseling, fees and assessments. The penalties are enhanced based on the chemical test results. Although by statute, drunk driving is punishable by up to one (1) year in prison, such a penalty is rarely imposed.
However, due to Attorney Humphrey's experience and skill in DUI cases, the drunk driving charge was amended to a charge of reckless driving. Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 31-27-4, reckless driving is defined as any person who operates a motor vehicle recklessly so that the lives or safety of the public might be endangered, or operates a vehicle in an attempt to elude or flee from a traffic officer or police vehicle, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor for the first conviction and a felony for the second and each subsequent conviction.
The reckless driving charge was filed, which means it is not a criminal conviction. After one (1) year the charge can be expunged. The amendment of the charge was extremely beneficial to our Client who is active duty military and could not have a criminal record.