State Police DUI Charge Amended to Reckless Driving With No Loss of License

In January of 2012, our client was arrested by the Rhode Island State Police and charged with drunk driving. He submitted to the chemical test at the State Police barracks and had 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.

The penalties if convicted of drunk driving with BAC readings between .08 and .10 include:

(d) Every person found to have violated subdivision (b)(1) of this section shall be sentenced as follows: for a first violation whose blood alcohol concentration is eight one-hundredths of one percent (.08%) but less than one-tenth of one percent (.1%) by weight or who has a blood presence of any scheduled controlled substance as defined in subdivision (b)(2) shall be subject to a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than three hundred dollars ($300), shall be required to perform ten (10) 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 and/or shall be required to attend a special course on driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance; 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, and his or her driver's license shall be suspended for thirty (30) days up to one hundred eighty (180) days.

However, due to Attorney Humphrey's reputation and experience in handling DUI cases, the charge was amended 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.

Reckless driving does not have mandatory penalties, which resulted in no loss of license for our client. This disposition was extremely beneficial for our client because he has a career that depends on a clean criminal record and the ability to drive. Our client avoided a criminal conviction and did not suffer any loss of license.

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