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Dui Penalties

Judges Hammer


Being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs can have serious impacts on your life, both personally and professionally, but it is important that you remember the difference between a DUI charge and a DUI conviction. By working with an experienced, aggressive DUI attorney in Rhode Island, you can maximize your chances of having a positive outcome to your case that will depend on a variety of factors, such as your criminal history, any possible enhancements to your current charges, and more.

Read below to learn about some of the standard penalties that come along with a DUI conviction in Rhode Island, but keep in mind that there are a variety of different circumstances that could increase the penalties, change the degree of the charges from misdemeanor to a felony, and more. In order to get the best idea of what to expect in your case, and to learn about how we can help you move forward effectively, contact Brett V. Beaubien Esquire, Attorney at Law today to request an initial consultation.


Before even getting into the specific penalties of a DUI, it is important to understand the risks and consequences of refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test. When you receive your license from the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles, you enter an agreement called “implied consent,” which means you will forfeit your license for between 6 months and 1 year if you refuse a breath test. This is a civil charge, not criminal, but you will additionally be charged with DUI.

If you submit to a breathalyzer test and fail, you will also be arrested for DUI but you will not lose your license until the end of your case, and then only if you found guilty or reach an agreement with the courts that involves you losing your driving abilities for a certain period of time.


If you are convicted of a first DUI in Rhode Island, you will face a variety of penalties that can vary depending on whether or not you accepted a plea deal or reached and alternative sentencing agreement with a judge such as an arrangement through the RI Veteran’s Treatment Court. In addition to the possibility of alternative sentencing, you can face steeper penalties if you blow a BAC in excess of .10. Without any agreements, pleas, or arrangements, you can expect penalties similar to the following:

Loss of License

After being convicted of your first DUI, you will have your license suspended for 1-6 months. A higher BAC will result in a license suspension of up to 18 months.


Your initial fines will be up to $300 but can be up to $500 if you register a higher BAC.

Possible Jail Time

A first DUI conviction could result in up to one year, provided that there are no other enhancements or prior charges that will increase the amount of time that you will need to serve.

Additional Penalties

Additional penalties for a DUI include community service, an Ignition Interlock Device for a certain period of time, treatment programs for drug and alcohol abuse, and more. 

If you have been convicted of a prior DUI and are now facing a subsequent charge, then the penalties will increase accordingly, It is important that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible to start building a strong defense.


In Rhode Island, a DWI is generally considered a misdemeanor offense; however, in certain cases, it may be elevated to a felony. In order for this to happen, the driver must have caused injury or death to another person due to their reckless driving. Additionally, if the driver has been convicted of three or more DWIs within five years prior to the current conviction, that can also result in a felony charge.

It’s important to understand the legal implications of being charged with a felony DWI in Rhode Island. These charges can carry much steeper penalties than misdemeanors and even include jail time. It’s also important to note that you may still be charged with a felony even if no injuries were sustained by yourself or another person. It is critical to seek experienced legal counsel if you are facing a DUI/DWI charge in Rhode Island. 

Working with an experienced attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the best possible outcome for your case. An attorney will be able to explain the potential consequences of a felony DWI and determine the best defense strategy for your unique situation. By understanding the laws surrounding DWIs in Rhode Island, you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case. 

Contact The Law Office of Brett V. Beaubien today to get started with our Providence appeals attorney.