Providence Drunk Driving Arrest

As reported in the December 19, 2011 edition of the Providence Journal, a Providence man has been arrested and charged with drunk driving. The man was involved in a motor vehicle accident over the weekend. He then fled the scene of the accident and hit other cars before he was arrested. In addition to the DUI, he was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident. It is unclear whether he submitted to the chemical test.

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.

If convicted of drunk driving, the penalties include a period of license suspension, community service, DWI school, fines, fees and court costs. Although a serious charge, a first offense DUI charge is a misdemeanor. In this case, the man could have been facing more severe penalties. Two (2) people were injured in the motor vehicle accident and suffered minor injuries. If their injuries had been more serious, the man could have been charged with DUI – serious injury resulting, a felony.

Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 31-27-2.6, when serious bodily injury of any person other than the operator is caused by the operation of any motor vehicle, the operator of which is under the influence of any intoxicating liquor, toluene, or any controlled substance as defined in chapter 28 of title 21 or any combination of these, the person so operating the vehicle shall be guilty of driving under the influence of liquor or drugs, resulting in serious bodily injury.

(b) As used in this section, "serious bodily injury" means physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious physical disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

If convicted, the penalties include imprisonment for not less than one year and for not more than ten (10) years and by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000). The sentencing judge shall have the discretion to sentence the person to any unit of the adult correctional institutions. The license of the person may be revoked for a period of up to two (2) years. The license privilege shall not be reinstated until evidence satisfactory to the administrator of the division of motor vehicles establishes that no grounds exist which would authorize refusal to issue a license and until the person gives proof of financial responsibility pursuant to chapter 32 of this title. In addition, the person convicted may be required to successfully complete alcohol or drug treatment, at their own expense, in a program established by the director of the department of corrections.

If you or a family member has been charged with drunk driving – serious injury resulting, drunk driving (DUI), or refusal to submit to a chemical test, 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

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