Rhode Island DUI Laws, Fines and Penalties

Learn about the penalties for a DUI conviction in Rhode Island.

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What are the penalties for a DUI in Rhode Island?


1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail

Up to 1 year

10 days to 1 year

1 to 5 years

Fines and Penalties

$100 to $500

$400 to $1,000

$400 to $5,000

License Suspension

2 to 18 months

1 to 2 years

2 years min.

IID** Required

No

Yes

Yes

Lookback Period: 5 years (Period of time that prior DUIs are relevant for sentencing. Also known as a “washout” period.)

**Ignition Interlock Device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in Rhode Island?

Under 21

.02% - Persons under 21 with BAC greater than .02% but less than .1% can be convicted of "driving while impaired" and have their license suspended for 1-3 months (first offense), 3-6 months (second offense), plus fines and community service. Persons under 18 have mandatory license suspension until age 21.

21 or older

.08%

Commercial

.04%

** BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

You may want to try our BAC Calculator, however I wouldn't let any results encourage you to drink and drive.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more about Rhode Island's implied consent law.

 

1st Offense

2d Offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

6 month license suspension, 10-60 hours community service, $200-$500 fine

1 year license suspension, 60-100 hours community service, $600-$1,000 fine, possibly jail

2-5 year license suspension, 100 hours community service, $800-$1,000 fine, possibly jail

Disclaimer: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. For that reason, we recommended that you seek the advice of a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in your area.

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI in Rhode Island?

A defendant might receive a "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. There is no statutory provision on whether a wet reckless plea bargain will be accepted in Rhode Island, but it's possible a lawyer may be able to create a plea bargain for you.

Drinking and Driving Laws in Rhode Island

It is illegal in the State of Rhode Island to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above. The .08 percent limit is the standard measurement used by all states for the "impaired" driver. The State of Rhode Island has lower BAC limits for drivers under the age of 21 and commercial drivers. The Rhode Island DUI law also includes driving under the influence of controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, inhalants and other drugs.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in Rhode Island? This question is usually asked by people who want to know how many drinks it would take to reach the .08 limit. There are charts and calculators to help you determine the number of drinks it would take to reach the .08 BAC limit, however these tools do not factor in all variables that contribute to the BAC equation. It is safe to assume that each drink consumed puts you another step closer to becoming an impaired driver.

The best answer is not to drink and drive. The State of Rhode Island has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in Rhode Island, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.

If you are convicted of your first DWI with a .08-.10 BAC, you will receive a fine between $100-$300. You will also be ordered to perform from 10-60 hours of community service and you may be sentenced up to 1 year in jail. Your drivers license will be suspended from 30-180 days and you may be ordered to attend a driving while intoxicated course.

The second time you are arrested for a DUI in the State of Rhode Island within 5 years of the first conviction, you will be subject to a mandatory fine of $400. Your drivers license will be suspended from 1-2 years and you will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 10 days up to 1 year in jail. You may also be ordered to attend a alcohol and/or drug treatment program and install a ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a period of 1-2 years following the completion of the sentence.

If you are arrested for a 3rd DUI within a 5 year period, you will be guilty of a felony and receive a mandatory $400 fine. Your drivers license will be suspended for a period of 2-3 years and you will be sentenced to no less than 1 year in jail. You will also be required to attend a alcohol or drug treatment program and the judge may require you to install a ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a period of 2 years after the completion of your sentence. At the discretion of the judge, your vehicle may be seized and sold by the State of Rhode Island.

by: , Attorney

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