Drinking and driving is not per se illegal under Rhode Island law. Any motorist with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater is legally intoxicated. It can be more difficult to prove a drunk driving charge if a motorist has a BAC reading below .08 (the legal limit). However, the law does not make a distinction for drug use. If driving with any detectable amount of drugs, a motorist can be arrested and charged with drunk driving.
Breath tests are the best means of testing a motorist's alcohol content. Blood tests are the best means of testing for the presence of drugs in a motorist. Blood tests are administered at hospitals by medical personnel under the direction of the police. Blood samples are taken and then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
In addition to DUI, a motorist could face additional penalties if drugs are found in their possession while they are operating a motor vehicle. Additional charges include possession of a controlled substance and driving while in possession of a controlled substance.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 21-28-4.01(c), the penalties for possession of a controlled classified in schedules I, II and III, IV, and V, except the substance classified as marijuana, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than three (3) years or fined not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or both. Possession of a controlled substance classified in schedule I as marijuana is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not less than two hundred dollars ($200) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both.
Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 31-27-2.4, whoever operates any motor vehicle while knowingly having in the motor vehicle or in his or her possession, a controlled substance, as defined in § 21-28-1.02, shall have his or her license suspended for a period of six (6) months.
DUI Attorney Robert Humphrey has over twenty-five (25) years' experience helping clients maintain their freedom and liberty after a charge for DUI involving drugs in Rhode Island. Whether this is a first criminal charge or a subsequent offense, having a skilled and highly knowledgeable lawyer on your side is crucial!
Contact a Rhode Island DUI attorney immediately if you have questions about a DUI - Drugs case. There is no charge for the initial consultation.