Pawtucket Refusal Trial - Guilty Verdict

As reported by Amanda Milkovits in the April 25, 2012 edition of the Providence Journal, following a trial on a refusal to submit to a chemical test charge, a Pawtucket man was found guilty. The refusal charge had previously been dismissed. However, the Chief Magistrate of the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal allowed the refusal charge to be re-filed and the matter proceeded to trial. The man was also previously charged with drunk driving. That charge was also previously dismissed.

Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 31-27-2.1, refusal to submit to a chemical test is defined as any person who operates a motor vehicle within this state shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to chemical tests of his or her breath, blood, and/or urine for the purpose of determining the chemical content of his or her body fluids or breath. No more than two (2) complete tests, one for the presence of intoxicating liquor and one for the presence of toluene or any controlled substance, as defined in § 21-28-1.02(7), shall be administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer having reasonable grounds to believe the person to have been driving a motor vehicle within this state while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, toluene, or any controlled substance, as defined in chapter 28 of title 21, or any combination of these. The director of the department of health is empowered to make and file with the secretary of state, regulations which prescribe the techniques and methods of chemical analysis of the person's body fluids or breath and the qualifications and certification of individuals authorized to administer the testing and analysis.

There are a range of penalties including 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 this case the man received a $300.00 fine, forty (40) hours of community service, DUI School and eight (8) months loss of license. The Magistrate concluded that the incident was the result of road rage and therefore he imposed enhanced penalties. The arrest stemmed from an accident between the man and a Pawtucket police officer.

If you or a family member has been charged with refusal to submit to a chemical test, drunk driving (DUI), or other alcohol offenses, 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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