First Offense DUI in Rhode Island

A first DUI in Rhode Island conviction carries both criminal and administrative penalties; however, as seen in most states, the applicable criminal penalties are often applied at the discretion of the courts. Rhode Island employs a sliding scale for punishments, with higher BAC’s at time of arrest incurring more severe mandatory minimum license suspensions and fines. The following articles addresses only issues related to first DUI for adults with a private driver’s license, and in turn, minors, commercial drivers, and other penalties, such as suspensions under implied consent laws, may be applicable.

Administrative Penalties

  • First offense DUI in Rhode Island results in administrative license suspensions, which are applied based on the BAC of an offender at time of arrest. BAC up to .10 results in at least thirty (3) day license suspension, BAC up to .15 results in at least three (30) month license suspension, and BAC above .15 results in at least three (3) month license suspension with possibility of suspension of eighteen (18) months
  • Refusals to submit to BAC testing under implied consent laws results in automatic license suspension of six (6) month license suspension, fines, and mandatory community service
  • Ignition interlock devices, unless specifically ordered by courts, are not prerequisite to license reinstatement, but attendance at DUI school most likely will be

Criminal Penalties

How Much Will it Cost?

To get an idea of how much a first offense DUI will cost you, see our article on the cost of a DUI.

  • Rhode Island categorizes first offense DUI as a misdemeanor offense with potential of incarceration of not more than one (1) year, but there is no minimum incarceration period required by law
  • Fines are not more than $300 for offenders with BAC below .10, not more than $400 for offenders with BAC below .15, and not more than $500 for offenders with BAC above .15. In all cases, offenders are also assessed a $500 highway assessment fee, and in turn, these fine amounts do not cover additional expenses incurred during completion of one’s sentence
  • Community service requirements, ranging from ten (10) to sixty (60) hours likely required as well
  • DUI convictions in Rhode Island have ability to influence charges and sentencing in future DUI arrests for a period of five (5) years

Getting Legal Help

For more information and insight, consult with a Rhode Island DUI lawyer about your legal rights and options in a first offense DUI case.

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