Forceful DUI Defense Attorney in Barrington, Rhode Island
Over the years we have represented clients from all over Barrington including Hampden Meadows, Sowams, Nayatt, Primrose Hill, Rumstick, Bay Springs, and Alfred Drowne, among other neighborhoods. Barrington’s small-town charm can evaporate with amazing speed, however, if you are arrested for DUI here. Don’t try to navigate this one alone.
Adult DUI Penalties
In Rhode Island, you are considered intoxicated if your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. Different standards apply, of course, for intoxication from sources other than alcohol. There is a five-year lookback period for repeat offenses. You will be charged with a second-offense DUI if you have one prior DUI conviction during the last five years.
First offense penalties are as follows:
- Up to a year in jail
- A fine of up to $500 (plus other assessments)
- Suspension of your driving privileges for up to 18 months
- Mandatory driving school and/or alcohol treatment program
Penalties increase substantially for further offenses within any five-year period.
Special Rules for Underage Defendants
Rhode Island law is far stricter for underage drinkers than it is for adults.
- The legal limit for alcohol is only 0.02% Note that you can reach 0.02% with a single beer.
- You can be convicted of “Driving While Impaired” instead of DUI for a BAC of anywhere from 0.02% to 0.10%. This will result in a driver’s license suspension of up to three months for a first offense and up to six months for a second offense plus fines, community service, and a DUI and/or substance abuse program.
- If you are under 18 and you are convicted of driving with a BAC of at least 0.02%, you face additional penalties including a longer driver’s license suspension period and up to a year of detention in a juvenile facility (for a second offense).
“Fantastic lawyer, very aggressive, and never failed at returning my calls or emails. I would definitely use him again, for any legal needs.” – Shawn Rousseau
We help our clients with a variety of DUI-related matters, including:
- Disorderly Conduct Charges
- Resisting Arrest Charges
- Traffic Offenses
- Other Criminal Charges
- DUI Expungements
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
My driver’s license was issued by Massachusetts. Can Rhode Island suspend it for a DUI?
No, they can’t since they didn’t issue it in the first place. Instead:
- Rhode Island will ban you from driving in Rhode Island under any state’s driver’s license
- Rhode Island may notify Massachusetts that you have been convicted of DUI in Rhode Island.
- Massachusetts may suspend your driver’s license based on Massachusetts law.
Can I be penalized for both DUI and refusing a chemical test?
Yes, you can since they are considered independent offenses. It is illegal to refuse a chemical test (such as a breathalyzer) in Rhode Island even if you are not intoxicated. In your DUI case, since the prosecutor won’t be able to use a chemical test against you, he will have to try to get a conviction against you without this evidence.
What is the Driver License Compact?
The Driver License Compact helps states share information about their citizens’ driving records with other states. This makes it easier for New Jersey, for example, to learn about your Rhode Island driving record. As of 2018, only the following states are non-members of the Driver License Compact:
What does “wet reckless” mean?
“Wet reckless” is an informal term for a reckless driving charge that you plead to (instead of DUI) after plea bargaining with the prosecutor. This might happen, for example if:
- your BAC turned out to be exactly .08% and the prosecutor was afraid your lawyer would win at trial by citing the margin of error of the breathalyzer test.
- the prosecutor’s case against you contained some other weakness that motivated the prosecutor to avoid a trial.
Don’t Get Lost in the Rhode Island Criminal Justice System
Defending yourself against a criminal charge is nothing like representing yourself in Small Claims Court. Criminal court applies complex rules of evidence and criminal procedure and, more importantly, the prosecutor is likely to be experienced and aggressive. You are going to need a law firm that can go toe-to-toe with an overzealous prosecutor – that would be us.
Don’t Hesitate While the Clock Is Ticking
As a DUI defendant, you are subjected to strict deadlines and missing one of them (or waiting until the last minute to respond) can devastate your case. If you have been arrested or charged with DUI in Barrington or elsewhere in Rhode Island, call us at (401) 685-9335 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.