As reported by Maria Armental in the May 3, 2012 edition of the Providence Journal, the Warwick Police Department have arrested two (2) people and charged both with drunk driving and refusal to submit to a chemical test. One man was involved in an accident with a pole. While a police officer was on the scene of that accident, a woman crashed into the police officer's cruiser. The officer was not injured.
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 include a fine of not less than one hundred ($100) dollars nor more than four hundred dollars ($400) and 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. The person's driving license shall be suspended for a period of three (3) months to twelve (12) 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 alcoholic 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.
If the officer had been injured in the accident, the charge would be drunk driving – serious injury resulting pursuant to R.I.G.L. 31-27-2.6., defined as when serious bodily injury of any person other than the operator is caused by the operation of any motor vehicle, the operator of which is under the influence of any intoxicating liquor, toluene, or any controlled substance as defined in chapter 28 of title 21 or any combination of these, the person so operating the vehicle shall be guilty of driving under the influence of liquor or drugs, resulting in serious bodily injury. As used in this section, "serious bodily injury" means physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious physical disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
The penalties are more severe and include imprisonment for not less than one year and for not more than ten (10) years and by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000). The sentencing judge shall have the discretion to sentence the person to any unit of the adult correctional institutions. The license of the person may be revoked for a period of up to two (2) years. The license privilege shall not be reinstated until evidence satisfactory to the administrator of the division of motor vehicles establishes that no grounds exist which would authorize refusal to issue a license and until the person gives proof of financial responsibility pursuant to chapter 32 of this title. In addition, the person convicted may be required to successfully complete alcohol or drug treatment, at their own expense, in a program established by the director of the department of corrections.
If you 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. Please contact Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.