When a driver is pulled over in Rhode Island, the police officer will administer a breath test to determine the drivers blood alcohol content (BAC). If their BAC is .08 or above, then they will be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). A BAC of .15 or above leads to an aggravated DUI and increased penalties. Rhode Island also has a zero tolerance law which means that any driver under the age of 21 will be charged with a DUI for a BAC of .02 or higher. A driver who refused the breath test to determine BAC will also be charged with a DUI.
A drivers first drunk driving conviction in Rhode Island will earn them up to one year in prison, though it is possible that the court will allow them to complete 10 to 60 hours of community service instead. If the drivers BAC is .08 or below, they will be fined $100 to $300 and their license will be suspended for 30 to 180 days. For a BAC of .09 to .015 o, they will be fined $100 to $400 and their license will be suspended for 3 months to 12 months. A BAC of above .15 will mean the driver has to pay a fine of $500 and they lose their license for 3 months to 18 months. The Rhode Island courts also require offenders to attend an education course on drive under the influence.
DUI / DWI facts and statistics in Rhode Island
- In 2017, 4 out of the 34 driving fatalities due to DUI / DWI were driven by drivers under the age of 21
- In the same year, 5 out of the 1,788 offenders caught for DUI / DWI were under the age of 18
- In 2018, 1 out of the 20 driving fatalities due to DUI / DWI was driven by drivers under the age of 21
- In the same year, 2 out of the 2,423 offenders caught for DUI / DWI were under the age of 18
source: responsibility.org, fbi.gov
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