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.
The penalties for drunk driving include a fine, community service hours, a period of license suspension, DUI school or alcohol/drug treatment and court costs. A person can be sentenced to up to one (1) year imprisonment but that is rarely enforced. There are three (3) levels of drunk driving based on breathalyzer results, .08-.10, .10-.15 or unknown breathalyzer results (meaning the person refused the breathalyzer test) and over. 15. The penalties for drunk driving get more severe if the person has higher breathalyzer results.
In this case, the man had readings over .15, which is the highest level of drunk driving. If convicted, the penalties include a fine of five hundred dollars ($500), twenty (20) to sixty (60) hours of public community restitution and/or imprisonment for up to one year. The person's driving license shall be suspended for a period of three (3) months to eighteen (18) 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 alcohol or drug treatment for the individual.
In case with readings over .15, the motorist is also required to have an ignition interlock system installed in their motor vehicle for a period of months. The ignition interlock system is a portable breathalyzer which requires the motorist to breath into the machine to start a motor vehicle. The motor vehicle will not start if any alcohol is registered.If you or a family member have been charged with drunk driving, refusal to submit to a chemical test or any alcohol related offenses, please contact Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at (401) 816-5862 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.