DUI Lawyer Rhode Island
Getting arrested for DUI can be extremely embarrassing for you and your family, not to mention the serious personal and professional consequences that a conviction can have on your life. However, it is important that you remember during the entire process that being arrested for, and charged with a DUI is not the same as being convicted of a DUI. With the help of an experienced and aggressive DUI criminal defense attorney in Rhode Island, you will be able to have the help of a professional who is doing everything possible to identify solutions and ways to get you to a positive outcome.
Brett V. Beaubien, Esq., has a history of successes while defending clients against Driving Under the Influence charges in Rhode Island, and you can request a consultation now in order to learn more about how he can help you with your own situation. Read more below to see the answers to some common questions about DUI charges in Rhode Island, as well as possible penalties, and what types of alternative sentencing options may exist for certain cases.
If you want to be confident that you are partnered with an attorney who is fighting for you throughout the entire process, look no further than Brett V. Beaubien for help. Contact us now to request your initial consultation, and get started on the road towards a strong defense.
What Constitutes a DUI in Rhode Island?
A DUI is a charge that accuses the defendant of driving under the influence of alcohol or other mind-altering drugs; essentially, driving a motor vehicle in an impaired mental state. Most commonly, these charges stem from alcohol-related incidents, where the driver fails a breath alcohol test by exceeding the legal BAC limit (discussed in greater detail below).
However, if a suspect is suspected to be under the influence of drugs other than alcohol, the breath alcohol test will not come up positive, and the police will resort to other methods to determine if a crime has taken place, including blood tests, field sobriety tests, and urine tests. Some officers are trained in field exams to determine whether or not a suspect is under the influence of a range of scheduled drugs, as well.
Legal BAC Limit in Rhode Island
The standard legal limit for blood alcohol concentration is .08 for an adult over the age of 21. However, if the operator has a CDL license and is currently operating a commercial motor vehicle, their legal limit is .04. A minor, any individual under the age of 21, has a legal limit of .02.
In order to determine an individual’s BAC, the officer will likely request that they submit to a breath alcohol test, which involves blowing into a device commonly known as a Breathalyzer. This device uses the concentration of alcohol present in a person’s exhaled breath as a way to estimate the amount of alcohol is in their bloodstream. In many cases, failing a breath test will mean that the officer will request that you submit to a blood test in order to get a more accurate reading.
Penalties For a DUI in Rhode Island
If you are convicted of your first DUI in Rhode Island, the standard penalties can include things like a license suspension of up to a year, fines up to $500, possible jail time of up to a year. In addition, you will need to attend drug and alcohol abuse counseling and fulfill a certain amount of community service. For subsequent DUI convictions, or if there are other enhancement charges such as having a minor in the vehicle, an open container, or possession of a controlled substance, your penalties will increase.
Alternative Sentencing Options
There are a variety of options available that we may be able to pursue if this is your first DUI charge and you meet certain criteria. For instance, the Veterans Treatment Court is a specialized district court program to help veterans seek alternative steps for rehabilitation. If you qualify for participation in this court and complete the program successfully, we may be able to obtain a far better result than if your case stays in the standard district court.
Of course, if you are not a veteran but this is your first DUI charge, there are other options available as well. Depending on a variety of factors, such as your existing criminal record and more, we will work to find the best possible solutions to your case to ensure that you are able to carry on with your life after this mistake.
Field Sobriety, Blood, Urine, and Breath Alcohol Tests in Rhode Island
One certainty of your traffic stop where the officer suspects that you are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is that you will be asked to submit to a series of tests meant to show your degree of intoxication. There are different rules around each type of test, and different penalties associated with your decision to submit or refuse the test.
Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are the least reliable tests of all that take place during a DUI stop because they are extremely subjective and left entirely up to the officer’s discretion whether the test-taker passes or fails. They fail to account for things such as environmental distractions, physical disabilities, or even performance anxiety. Refusing to submit to a field sobriety test in Rhode Island will have no adverse consequences, but you can still be arrested for DUI even if you do not take them.
Breath Alcohol Tests
A breath alcohol test is another test that you will likely be asked to submit to, but the stakes of refusing this test are higher. When you first get your driver’s license from the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles, you enter an agreement known as “implied consent” that requires you to submit to these tests when they are requested of you, or otherwise, your license will be suspended. This suspension is not a criminal penalty, but refusing the test will play a role in your criminal case as well.
Blood or Urine Alcohol Tests
You may also be asked to submit to a blood or urine test to determine your BAC with more accurate results, or to see if you are under the influence of any other drugs that would not register on a breath test. Refusing a blood test will likely result in increased fines or license suspension, but will not have any impact on the length of jail time you can be given, if any.
Contact Us Today
The sooner you contact us to begin working on your DUI defense, the more time we will have to start building a solid case and identify all possible options for reduced charges or penalties. We will be able to discuss all of the specifics of your arrest during our initial consultation, which you can request now.