As reported by Sandy McGee in the June 13, 2013 edition of the Portsmouth Patch, a man driving in Portsmouth caused a three (3) car accident which killed another man. The Portsmouth Police Department charged the man with drunk driving – death resulting and refusal to submit to a chemical test. The other driver involved in the accident was transported to the hospital and later released.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 31-27-2.2, drunk driving – death resulting is defined as when the death of any person other than the operator ensues as a proximate result of an injury received by the operation of any 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 death".
The penalties if convicted include every person convicted of a first violation shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five (5) years and for not more than fifteen (15) years, in any unit of the adult correctional institutions in the discretion of the sentencing judge, by a fine of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and his or her license to operate a motor vehicle shall be revoked for a period of five (5) 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 the 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 in a program of their choice, at their own expense, as authorized by a judge of the superior court, and may successfully complete the program before any license to operate a motor vehicle is renewed.
Although the man refused to submit to the chemical test, it is likely that the police got a warrant to take a blood sample at the hospital. Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 12-5-2, allows for a blood sample to be taken after a person refused the chemical test if the case involves death or serious bodily injury.
If you or a family member has been charged with drunk driving –death resulting, drunk driving 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 Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.