As reported by Donita Naylor in the January 3, 2013 edition of the Providence Journal, a teacher has been arrested by the Charlestown Police Department and charged with driving to endanger – serious injury resulting and leaving the scene of an accident – serious injury resulting. She alleged hit a teenager. Later that same night, the Rhode Island State Police arrested the woman and she is also charged with drunk driving. She has been placed on administrative leave from her job and she is not allowed to drive as a condition of her bail.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 31-26-1, leaving the scene of an accident (hit and run) is defined as the driver of any vehicle knowingly involved in an accident resulting in injury to, serious bodily injury to, or death of any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to it as possible, but shall then immediately return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of § 31-26-3.
The penalties vary based on the level of the injury to the other person. Any person knowingly failing to stop or to comply with the requirements under circumstances which result in injury to any person shall upon conviction be punished by a mandatory loss of license for at least one year and not more than five (5) years and imprisonment for not more than five (5) years and/or fined up to five thousand dollars ($5,000).
Any person knowingly failing to stop or to comply with the requirements under circumstances which result in serious bodily injury to any person shall upon conviction be punished 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). Additionally, the license of the person shall 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.
Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 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.
In this case, the woman is charged with drunk driving while having a child under the age of thirteen (13) years old in the car. In addition to the penalties for drunk driving which include a fine, community service, loss of license, DUI school, costs and fees, the law imposes additional penalties for this enhanced charge.
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 has been charged with drunk driving, drunk driving – serious injury resulting or hit and run, 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.