Knowledgeable DUI Defense Attorney in Bristol, Rhode Island

Rhode Island State flag - Bristol DUI LawyerMany of our criminal defense clients over the years call Bristol, RI home, including people from the Bristol Highlands, Roger Williams University, and the Hope St./Thames Street areas. A DUI arrest in Bristol or anywhere else in the state is no laughing matter. Rhode Island has beefed up penalties to the point where you could spend up to a year in jail for a first offense.

Once you are asked to take a DUI test such as a breathalyzer, you may be “caught between the devil and the deep blue sea”, so to speak. If you agree to be tested, you may be providing the prosecutor with powerful evidence against you . But if you refuse, you could face a driver’s license suspension and you may end up with a DUI conviction anyway. It is highly recommended to hire an experienced Bristol DUI Lawyer to fight on your side.

The Presumption of Innocence

As a criminal defendant, you face a minefield. The system is adversarial, prosecutors are aggressive, and rules of evidence and criminal procedure are complex. You do have one great advantage, however – the presumption of innocence. Since you are initially presumed innocent, the prosecutor must prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

The prosecutor’s heavy burden of proof can open up many possible defenses (depending on the facts of your case). If successful, these defenses can lead to an outright acquittal, a lesser sentence, or conviction of a lesser offense such as “wet reckless.” Accomplishing this is likely to require the services of an experienced Bristol DUI attorney. “Going it alone” is never a good idea.

Client Testimonial

“Wish there were more stars to give!! Allison always got back to me right away with any questions or concerns. She made me feel important never just treated me like her client. She’s truly amazing!” — Abilheira Law client

Related Practice Areas

Abilheira Law represents clients charged with other DUI-related offenses, including:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a field sobriety test?



A field sobriety test is a test that a police officer administers before you are arrested for a DUI. Rhode Island police officers are trained to administer three types of tests:



  • the one leg stand;

  • the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (“watch this pen with your eyes”); and

  • the walk and turn.


The officer may also have you perform a pre-exit sobriety test before you exit your vehicle. The purpose of these tests is to give the officer probable cause to arrest you. If you were arrested, we recommend you hire a strong Bristol DUI lawyer to protect you.

What is a chemical test?



A chemical test is a test for intoxicants in your bloodstream, such as:



  • A breathalyzer test (for alcohol)

  • A blood test (for drugs)

  • A urine test (for drugs)


If you fail a chemical test, the results will be the centerpiece of the prosecution’s case against you.

What are the penalties for refusing a chemical test?



If you have no prior offenses, the penalties are:



  • A $200 to $500 fine (various assessments will be added to this amount)

  • 10 to 60 hours community service

  • Suspension of your driver’s license for six to twelve months

  • Mandatory participation in DUI school or alcohol counseling


Repeat offenders (within a five-year period) can face more serious penalties.

I have a previous DUI in another state. Can Rhode Island find out about it?



Most likely. Almost every state is a member of the Driver License Compact, an organization that allows state governments to share individual driving records with each other. For example, if you are currently charged with DUI and were convicted of DUI in Texas two years ago, Rhode Island will probably find out about it and charge you with second offense DUI.

Let Us Help You Navigate the DUI Minefield

When it comes to fighting a DUI charge, nice guys really do finish last – at least in Rhode Island. The system is organized like a boxing match with the defense and the prosecution as boxers, and the judge as the referee. To win, you must understand how the system works, identify hidden nuances that favor you, and exploit every advantage to the fullest.

We’re Ready to Step into the Ring and Start Fighting for You

If you are facing a charge for driving under the influence, you cannot afford to wait. Deadlines are looming, and disaster could strike if you miss one of them. Contacting a Bristol DUI defense attorney in Bristol early could save you a tremendous amount of trouble later. Call us today 24/7 at (401) 685-9335 or  contact us online so that we can answer your questions and discuss your options.