Rhode Island DUI Laws, Penalties and Sentencing

If you have been charged with a DUI in Rhode Island, you are potentially subject to serious criminal and financial repercussions. Please contact us immediately so that we can aggressively advocate on your behalf to obtain the best result possible. Please contact Gregory N. Hoffman at ghoffman@bglaw.com and Rui P. Alves at ralves@bglaw.com or by phone at 888.273.9903.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Generally

In Rhode Island, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or drugs is prosecuted as a serious criminal offense and carries severe punishments for those convicted. We have represented countless individuals charged with DUI and fight tirelessly on their behalf to obtain the best possible result.

Potential Defenses to Rhode Island DUI

There are numerous potential defenses to DUI charges in Rhode Island. These defenses include, but are not limited to, violations of an individual’s 4th amendment rights, unlawful arrests, inaccurate blood alcohol testing or chain of custody violations. It is extremely important to have an attorney review your DUI case and all evidence against you to determine whether the prosecution has committed any violations of criminal procedure or due process.

What is a DUI- Adult, Youth and Commercial Drivers

Under Rhode Island law, the determination of whether a driver has operated a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is based upon the driver’s blood alcohol limit. For adult drivers ages 21 and older, the applicable blood alcohol limit is .08%, drivers under the age of 21, the applicable blood alcohol limit is .02% and for commercial drivers the applicable blood alcohol limit is .04%.

Penalties Associated with Rhode Island DUI

The statutory penalties and punishments for individuals found guilty of a DUI in Rhode Island are severe and based upon the blood alcohol limit as well as how many previous DUI convictions, if any, the individual has. Below are the statutory penalties and punishments:

  • First Offense DUI with a blood alcohol result .08% to .10%
    • Mandatory license suspension for a term of one (1) to six (6) months;
    • Fine in the amount of $100-$300;
    • Community service for 10-60 hours;
    • Possible jail term for up to one (1) year; and
    • Highway safety assessment in the amount of $500
  • First Offense DUI with a blood alcohol result .10% to .15%
    • Mandatory license suspension for a term of three (3) months to one (1) year;
    • Fine in the amount of $100-$400;
    • Community service for 10-60 hours;
    • Possible jail term for up to one (1) year; and
    • Highway safety assessment in the amount of $500
  • First Offense DUI with a blood alcohol result above .15%
    • Mandatory license suspension for a term of three (3) months to one and a half (1.5) years;
    • Fine in the amount of $500;
    • Community service for 20-60 hours;
    • Possible jail term for up to one (1) year;
    • Highway safety assessment in the amount of $500; and
    • Driving course on driving while intoxicated
  • Second Offense DUI within five (5) years with a blood alcohol result .08% to .15%
    • Mandatory license suspension for a term of two (2) years;
    • Fine in the amount of $400;
    • Possible jail term for up to one (1) year;
    • Highway safety assessment in the amount of $500; and,
    • Alcohol and/or drug treatment
  • Second Offense DUI within five (5) years with a blood alcohol above .15%
    • Mandatory license suspension for a term of two (2) years;
    • Fine in the amount of at least $1,000;
    • Mandatory jail term for six (6) months to one (1) year;
    • Highway safety assessment in the amount of $500; and,
    • Alcohol and/or drug treatment
  • Third Offense DUI or more within five (5) years with a blood alcohol result .08% to .15%
    • Mandatory license suspension for a term of two (2) to three (3) years;
    • Fine in the amount of $400;
    • Mandatory jail term for one (1) to three (3) years;
    • Highway safety assessment in the amount of $500; and,
    • Alcohol and/or drug treatment
  • Third Offense DUI or more within five (5) years with a blood alcohol result above .15%
    • Mandatory license suspension for a term of three (3) years;
    • Fine in the amount of $1,000 to $5,000;
    • Mandatory jail term for one (1) to three (3) years;
    • Highway safety assessment in the amount of $500; and,
    • Alcohol and/or drug treatment
  • Drivers under the age of 21 with a blood alcohol limit beyond .02%
    • License suspension for a term of one (1) to six (6) months;
    • Fine in the amount of $100-$300;
    • Community service for 10-60 hours; and
    • First time offenders under the age of eighteen (18) are also potentially subject to a license suspension until they attain the age of twenty-one (21).

What is an Ignition Interlock System?  Can it Help Me?

An ignition interlock system is a breathalyzer device that is installed in an individual’s vehicle that requires the driver to blower into a mouthpiece on the device before starting the vehicle. Under Rhode Island law, license suspensions that result from a DUI can be minimized using Rhode Island’s Ignition Interlock statute, R.I.G.L. § 31-27-2.8.

For more information

If you have been charged with a DUI in Rhode Island, please contact us:

Gregory N. Hoffman | ghoffman@bglaw.com | 888.273.9903

Greg has handled numerous complex felony and misdemeanor criminal defenses cases in the state and federal courts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Greg relies upon his experience defending individuals from criminal charges including, but not limited to, larceny, assault and battery, DUI/OUI, wire fraud, conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute, disorderly conduct, etc.

Rui P. Alvesralves@bglaw.com | 888.273.9903

Rui is an experienced Rhode Island and Massachusetts criminal defense litigator in both state and federal court. Rui has successfully defended countless individuals charged with criminal offenses and aggressively advocates on their behalf to obtain the best possible results.