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DUI Penalties

Rhode Island DUI Penalties

Due to the serious and deadly results often resulting from alcohol related accidents , Rhode Island takes a hard stance against drunk driving. The state’s stringent laws and DUI penalties are based on age and blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. However, it’s important to remember the following points:

  • Any DWI resulting in death of another person is considered a felony.
  • Any driver under 21 years old found with an open container in his or her vehicle may face a 30 day suspension.
  • “Implied Consent” means that any driver behind the wheel of a vehicle gives the state permission to administer a breathalyzer exam.

The state defines driving while intoxicated (DWI) as any driver 21 or older with a BAC of .08% or higher. The law is less tolerant for drivers under 21 who can be charged with DWI for a BAC of .02% or higher. You can find a full account of Rhode Island’s DWI policies in Title 31, Chapter 27 of the State of Rhode Island General Laws. Here is a summary of the State of Rhode Island’s DWI Penalties.

Penalties for Drivers 21 and Older

First Time Offender with a BAC between .08-.10%

  • Fined $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, serve 10-60 hours of community service
  • Face a 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

First Time Offender with a BAC between .10-.15%

  • Fined $100-$400
  • One year in jail or 10-60 or hours of community service
  • Suspended license 3-12 months

Second Time Offender within Five Years with a BAC between .08-.15%

  • Fined $400
  • Suspended license for up to two years
  • Anywhere from 10 days to one year in jail
  • Alcohol or drug treatment
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock system for up to two years

Third Time Offender within Five Years with a BAC between .08-.15%

  • Felony
  • Mandatory $400 fine
  • One to three years in jail
  • Two to three years license suspension
  • Alcohol or drug treatment
  • Ignition interlock device for up to two years after sentence is completed
  • First Time Offender with a BAC of .15% or Higher

  • Fined $500
  • One year in jail or 20-60 hours of community service
  • Suspended license 3-18 months
  • Mandatory participation in a special course on DWI and/or drug treatment

Second Time Offender with a BAC of .15% or Higher

  • Fined $1,000
  • Jail for 6-12 months
  • Suspended license for two years

Third Time Offender with a BAC of .15% or Higher

  • Fined $1,000-$5,000
  • Jail for 3-5 years
  • Suspended license for three years
  • At the discretion of the judge the violator’s vehicle may be seized and sold by the state

First Offense Breathalyzer Test Refusal

  • Fined $200-$500
  • Community Service for 10-60 hours
  • Suspended license six months to one year
  • Face a 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
  • Pay a $200 fee to support the department of health’s chemical testing programs

Second Offense Breathalyzer Test Refusal within Five Years

  • Fined $600-$1000
  • Suspended license 1-2 years
  • 60-100 hours of community service
  • Mandatory alcohol or drug treatment
  • Face a 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
  • Pay a $200 fee to support the department of health’s chemical testing programs

Third Offense Breathalyzer Test Refusal within Five Years

  • Fined $800-$1,000
  • Up to one year in jail
  • License suspended 2-5 years
  • Mandatory 100 hours of community service
  • Alcohol or drug treatment
  • Hearing to determine whether license may be reinstated
  • Face a 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
  • Pay a $200 fee to support the department of health’s chemical testing programs

DWI Resulting in Death

  • Jail sentence 5-15 years
  • Fined $5,000-$10,000
  • Revoked license for 5 years
  • At the judge’s discretion possible enrollment in an alcohol treatment program

Rhode Island DUI Penalties for Drivers Under 21

First Time Offender 18 or Younger with a BAC of .02 or Higher

  • Community Service 10-60 hours
  • Suspended license 6-18 months
  • Must enroll in a DWI course and/or an alcohol treatment or education program
  • At the judge’s discretion a possible highway assessment fine of up to $500

Second Time Offender 18 or Younger with a BAC of .02 or Higher

  • Suspended license until 21
  • At the judge’s discretion, a fine of up to $500 and a one year sentence in the Rhode Island Training School (juvenile correctional facility)

First Time Offender 18-21 Years Old with a BAC of .02 or Higher

  • Up to 30 hours of community service
  • A fine of up to $250
  • Suspended license for three months, provided one attends a class on DWI and enrolls in an alcohol treatment education program

Second Time Offender 18 or Younger with a BAC of .02 or Higher

  • Fined $250 in addition to a $300 highway assessment fee
  • Up to 60 hours of community service
  • Suspended license 3-6 months
  • Must enroll in a course on DWI and in an alcohol treatment program
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