Smithfield Drunk Driver Hits Police Cruiser

As reported by Courtney Caligiuri in the June 5, 2013 edition of WPRI news, a woman was arrested in Smithfield following an accident involving a Rhode Island State Trooper. The woman hit a police cruiser, injuring the officer inside. The trooper was transported to Rhode Island Hospital and underwent surgery. The woman has been charged with drunk driving – serious injury resulting, driving to endanger – serious injury resulting and refusal to submit to a chemical test.

Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 31-27-2.6, drunk driving – serious injury resulting is 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 if convicted 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.

In most cases, once a motorist refuses to submit to a breath or blood test, the police cannot force them to submit to the test. The motorist is then charged with refusal to submit to a chemical test. In this case, even though the woman refused to submit to a chemical test, the police were allowed to take her blood because of the serious nature of the charge.

If you or a family member has been charged with drunk driving – serious injury 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

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