DUI Charge Amended to Reckless & NO LOSS OF LICENSE

In August of 2011, our Client was arrested and charged by the Rhode Island State Police with drunk driving (DUI). At the police barracks, our Client submitted to the chemical test and had BAC readings over the legal limit.

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, our Client would have faced penalties include fines, community service, DWI school, a period of license suspension, fees and assessments. However, due to issues Attorney Humphrey raised regarding the chemical test results, they were no longer admissible. Under Rhode Island Law, the State can still proceed with a DUI charge without chemical test results, known as a DUI observation charge.

However, due to issues Attorney Humphrey raised regarding the field sobriety tests, the State acknowledged it would be difficult to proceed with a DUI observation charge.

Therefore, the State amended the DUI charge to reckless driving. Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 31-27-4, reckless driving is define 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 benefit of a reckless driving charge is twofold. First, a reckless driving charged can be filed. Under Rhode Island law, a filing is not a criminal conviction. As part of the filing, our Client must keep the peace and be of good behavior for one (1) year. After the one (1) year period, our client is eligible to have the records of the case expunged.

Second, reckless driving does not mandatory penalties, meaning no loss of license for our Client. This disposition was extremely beneficial to our Client who has a career in higher education, because our Client avoided a criminal conviction and did not suffer any loss of license.

If your or a family member have been charged with drunk driving, drunk driving – serious injury resulting 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. Contact Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at

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