Drunk Driver Hits Police Cruiser

As reported in the August 1, 2012 edition of the Providence Journal, a Providence woman has been arrested by the State Police and charged with drunk driving. The woman rear ended the state police cruiser and was subsequently arrested. She submitted to the chemical test and had readings which were three (3) times the legal limit of .08. In addition to the DUI charge, the woman could face additional charges because her two (2) young children were in the car at the time of the crash.

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.

The penalties if convicted of drunk driving with BAC readings over .15 include a fine of five hundred dollars ($500) and shall be required to perform twenty (20) to sixty (60) hours of public community restitution and/or shall be imprisoned for up to one year. The sentence may be served in any unit of the adult correctional institutions in the discretion of the sentencing judge. The person's driving license shall be suspended for a period of three (3) months to eighteen (18) months. The sentencing 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; provided, however, that the court may permit a servicemember or veteran to complete any court-approved counseling program administered or approved by the Veterans' Administration.

The woman is subject to additional penalties because she had two (2) children under the age of thirteen (13) in the car. The drunk driving statue states that any person over the age of eighteen (18) who is convicted under this section for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, other drugs, or a combination of these, while a child under the age of thirteen (13) years was present as a passenger in the motor vehicle when the offense was committed may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than one year and further shall not be entitled to the benefit of suspension or deferment of this sentence. The sentence imposed under this section may be served in any unit of the adult correctional institutions in the discretion of the sentencing judge.

If you or a family member have been charged with drunk driving, refusal to submit to a chemical test, 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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