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DUI in Rhode Island

DWI in Rhode Island

If you have been arrested for DUI in Rhode Island, it is time to contact a Rhode Island DUI lawyer. Most Rhode Island DUI attorneys offer a free initial consultation to evaluate and review your DUI charge. The state of Rhode Island, in their attempts to eliminate alcohol abuse, has passed tough DUI laws.

Intoxicated drivers may face a variety of very serious penalties for DUI that can impact their driving record and sometimes their life for a very long time. Some of the most common penalties for DUI can include:

  • A license suspension
  • High court costs and penalties
  • Mandatory attendance in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device

Do not try to handle a DUI charge by yourself. Whether it is your first, second or third DUI offense it is important to call a DUI lawyer now.

Legal definition of DUI in Rhode Island
Drivers in the state of Rhode Island are considered "driving under the influence" if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher. This is called per se DUI. A driver does not have to exhibit physical or mental signs of impairment to be charged with DUI if they are over the legal BAC limit.

Drivers can be arrested for DUI if they are under the influence of alcohol and the amount the driver has consumed makes them unable to drive safely. Drivers can also be arrested if they are under the influence of legal or illegal drugs.

Drivers who are under the age of 21 can be arrested for DUI if there BAC is 0.02% or higher, or they have consumed any controlled substance and the evidence is still in their system.

Penalties for DUI in Rhode Island


First Offense for DUI

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) < .10%

  • Required to pay fines of $100 to $300
  • Serve 10 to 60 hours of community service
  • Serve up to 1 year in jail
  • License suspension for 30 to 180 days
  • Potential completion of a alcohol education course

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.10% - 0.15%

  • Required to pay fines of $100 to $400
  • Serve 10 to 60 hours of community service
  • License suspension for 3 to 12 months
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol education course and treatment program

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) > 0.15% or impaired by an illegal drug

  • Required to pay fines of $500
  • Serve 20 to 60 hours of community service and/or up to one year in jail
  • License suspension for 3 to 18 months
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol education course and treatment program

Second DUI Offense (Within the last 5 years)

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) 0.08% to < 0.15%

  • Required to pay a fine of $400
  • Mandatory jail term of 10 days to 1 year in jail
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol education course and treatment program
  • License suspension for 1 2 years
  • Potential installation of an ignition interlock device after the license suspension is completed

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) greater than 0.15%

  • Required to pay fines of at least $1,000
  • Mandatory jail term of 6 months to 1 year
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol education course and treatment program
  • License suspension for 2 years
  • Potential installation of an ignition interlock device after the license suspension is completed

Third DUI Offense (Within the last 5 years)

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) 0.08% to < 0.15%

  • Required to pay fines of at least $400
  • Mandatory jail term of 1 to 3 years in prison
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol education course and treatment program
  • Potential installation of an ignition interlock device after the license suspension is completed

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) greater than 0.15%

  • Required to pay fines of at least $1,000 to $5,000
  • Mandatory jail term of 3 to 5 years in state prison
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol education course and treatment program
  • Mandatory license suspension for 3 years
  • Potential installation of an ignition interlock device for 2 years after the license suspension is completed

Finding a Rhode Island DUI lawyer
Should you hire a Rhode Island DUI lawyer? It is legal for a driver to represent themselves in a DUI case, but most drivers choose to at least consult with a DUI lawyer before deciding whether or not to plead guilty to a DUI charge. DUI penalties are very serious, especially if a driver injured or killed another driver, or if they have multiple DUI convictions. DUI lawyers vary in price so always review the charges before hiring anyone. It may also be a good idea to interview several DUI lawyers to find one who is knowledgeable about Rhode Island DUI laws.