Being charged with a DUI is anxiety-provoking enough, never mind the additional stress you will face and penalties likely imposed if you are charged with a DUI when you have a child under thirteen (13) years old in the car.

What are the penalties for a DUI with a child in the car in Rhode Island?

If you get arrested for a DUI with a child in the vehicle in DUI with a child in the carRhode Island, in addition to the normal statutory DUI penalties, the prosecution will likely seek to impose a sentence enhancement.  A sentence enhancement allows, and sometimes require, courts to increase a criminal defendant’s sentence beyond the normal range given the unique circumstances at hand. In DUI cases involving a minor child in the car at the time, Rhode Island uses sentence enhancements to make the accused’s consequences more severe.

Under Rhode Island General Laws § 31-27-2(d)(5)(ii) “any person over the age of eighteen (18) who is convicted under this section for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, other drugs, or a combination of these, while a child under the age of thirteen (13) years was present as a passenger in the motor vehicle when the offense was committed shall” face the following:

First Offense

  • Misdemeanor
  • Jail for up to one (1) year
  • Probation
  • Fine up to $1,000.00
  • Up to a $500 Highway Assessment
  • Immediate license suspension while the case is pending
  • License can be suspended for up to two (2) years
  • Attendance at a DUI course and alcohol or drug education and/or treatment

Second Offense

  • Felony
  • Jail up to five (5) years
  • Probation
  • Fine up to $5,000.00
  • Up to a $500 Highway Assessment
  • Immediate license suspension while the case is pending
  • License can be suspended for up to two (2) years
  • Attendance at a DUI course and alcohol or drug education and/or treatment.

Don’t face these harsh penalties today, get the RI DUI attorneys from Abilheira Law on your side today.  Call us now- 401-245-5100.

Child Endangerment in Rhode Island

Perhaps even more concerning than the penalties listed above, a DUI involving a minor in the car will be reported to DCYF (Department of Children, Youth, and Families).  DCYF caseworkers will perform their own investigation and have the power to take away your child. Rhode Island judges do not take child endangerment charges lightly. Because the family court always considers the best interests of the child, courts tend to be relentless when a child’s welfare is believed to be at risk.

Fight for your freedom and fight to keep your children with Abilheira Law in your corner- contact our experienced RI DUI attorneys today!

Why Should I Hire a DUI Attorney Under These Circumstances?

Aside from the heightened penalties when a child is involved, you may think your case seems pretty straight-forward and that it will likely be a waste of money to hire an attorney for your defense. However, each DUI case is different, and the outcome of a case may fall on the presentation of defense, which is much more likely to be in your favor if you retain experienced counsel!

We have a proven track record of success- we invite you to read our recent DUI case results and client reviews!

Let us build your defense today- contact the skilled Rhode Island DUI attorneys at Abilheira Law: call us now (401) 401-245-5100, or fill out our online form!