Rhode Island has very strict laws and penalties on drunk driving and driving under the influence. There are separate penalties and civil charges if you refuse to take a breathalyzer or chemical BAC test (breath test). For example, if you are stopped for suspicion of drunk driving and you refuse to take the breath test, this will result in an immediate loss of license for a minimum of 6 months and you may face other penalties. If you refuse to take the breath test, not only will you be charged with refusal, which is a civil infraction and is heard at the Traffic Tribunal in Cranston, but also, you will also be charged with drunk driving based on the officer’s observations.
If you have taken the breath test and your result was a blood alcohol level of more than the legal limit of .08 you will be charged with drunk driving. The penalties for drunk driving become more severe dependent on the facts of the case and how many times you have been charged and convicted of such an offense.
For example, for a first offense of drunk driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 to .10, the penalties are (if you are over 21 years of age):
- Fine $100-$300
- Suspended license for one to six months, up to one year in jail, and a $50 reinstatement fee
- At the discretion of the court, 10-60 hours of community service
- Highway Safety Assessment ($500 fee) conducted by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and possible enrollment in a driving school and/or an alcohol treatment program
If you have been charged with drunk driving or driving under the influence, contact us immediately so we can begin working on resolving your criminal case.