As reported in the March 1, 2013 edition of channel 10 news, a Middletown woman was arrested and charged with drunk driving. Her one (1) year old and two (2) year old children were in the car. Police also found an empty and full bottle of vodka and prescription medication in the vehicle.
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.
There is a specific section pertaining to drunk driving convictions when a child under the age of thirteen (13) is in the motor vehicle when the arrest occurred. The enhanced penalties allow for a term of imprisonment of not more than one year and shall not be entitled to the benefit of suspension or deferment of this sentence.
A new bill has recently been introduced to the Rhode Island General Assembly regarding this issue. The proposed bill would enhance the offense from a misdemeanor to a felony. It would require immediate license suspension while the case is pending. The penalties if convicted include:
Imprisonment of up to five (5) years and a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000). The sentencing judge shall also order a license suspension of up to two (2) years, require attendance at a special course on driving while intoxicate or under the influence of a controlled substance and alcohol or drug education and/or treatment. The individual may also be required to pay a highway assessment fine of no more than five hundred dollars ($500) and the assessment imposed shall be deposited into the general fund.
If you or a family member has been charged with drunk driving, drunk driving –serious injury resulting or drunk driving with children, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.