In a recent decision from Texas, a court ruled that it was permissible for a police officer to take a blood sample from a person arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Previously, only trained medical personnel were allowed to take blood samples from suspected drunk drivers. Rhode Island, like Texas, allows for blood samples to be taken from suspected drunk drivers in specific instances.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Law 31-27-2.1, Rhode Island is an implied consent state. This means by driving in Rhode Island, motorists consent to take a breathalyzer test when asked by police. Motorist have the right to refuse to submit to the chemical test, but will incur penalties such as, a fine in the amount of two hundred dollars ($200) to five hundred dollars ($500) and shall order the person to perform ten (10) to sixty (60) hours of public community restitution. The person's driving license in this state shall be suspended for a period of six (6) months to one year. The traffic tribunal 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.
In cases involving drunk driving - serious injury resulting and drunk driving-death resulting, if the motorist refuses to submit to the chemical test, police can still take a blood sample from the motorist. Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 31-27-2.9:
Notwithstanding any provision of § 31-27-2.1, if an individual refuses to consent to a chemical test as provided in § 31-27-2.1, and a peace officer, as defined in § 12-7-21, has probable cause to believe that the individual has violated one or more of the following sections: 31-27-1, 31-27-1.1, 31-27-2.2, or 31-27-2.6 and that the individual was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of any intoxicating liquor, toluene or any controlled substance as defined in chapter 21-28, or any combination thereof, a chemical test may be administered without the consent of that individual provided that the peace officer first obtains a search warrant authorizing administration of the chemical test. The chemical test shall determine the amount of the alcohol or the presence of a controlled substance in that person's blood or breath.
If you or a family member has been charged with drunk driving - death resulting, drunk driving - serious injury resulting or drunk driving (DUI) 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.