As reported by Amanda Milkovits in the March 23, 2012 edition of the Providence Journal, a Pawtucket man was originally charged with drunk driving and refusal to submit to a chemical test in October of 2011. Both charges were dismissed in January. However, the Pawtucket Police re-filed the refusal charges at the Traffic Tribunal and the man's attorney objected. The Judge overruled the objection and allowed the charges to be re-filed.
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.
If convicted of refusal to submit to a chemical test, the penalties include:
(1) Impose for the first violation 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.
(2) Every person convicted for a second violation within a five (5) year period shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, shall be imprisoned for not more than six (6) months and shall pay a fine in the amount of six hundred dollars ($600) to one thousand dollars ($1,000), order the person to perform sixty (60) to one hundred (100) hours of public community restitution, and the person's driving license in this state shall be suspended for a period of one year to two (2) years. The judge shall require alcohol and/or drug treatment for the individual.
(3) Every person convicted for a third or subsequent violation within a five (5) year period shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be imprisoned for not more than one year, fined eight hundred dollars ($800) to one thousand dollars ($1,000), order the person to perform not less than one hundred (100) hours of public community restitution, and the person's operator's license in this state shall be suspended for a period of two (2) years to five (5) years. The judge shall require alcohol or drug treatment for the individual. Provided, that prior to the reinstatement of a license to a person charged with a third or subsequent violation within a three (3) year period, a hearing shall be held before a judge. At the hearing the judge shall review the person's driving record, his or her employment history, family background, and any other pertinent factors that would indicate that the person has demonstrated behavior which warrants the reinstatement of his or her license.
If you or a family member has been charged with drunk driving (DUI), 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.