A third-offense DWI (driving while intoxicated) conviction in Rhode Island is a felony. A DWI, also known as a "DUI" (driving under the influence), generally results in prison time, fines, and driver's license suspension. This article discusses the possible outcome and controlling factors of a Rhode Island third-offense DWI.
A DWI is considered a third offense in Rhode Island if the driver has two prior DWI convictions within the last five years. The judge can consider the circumstances of the DWI and sentence the driver within the following parameters.
BAC under .15%. Drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08% but less than .15% or who had the presence of illegal drugs in their blood are subject to:
BAC of at least .15%. Drivers with a BAC of .15% or greater or who were driving while under the influence of (actually impaired by) drugs will be subject to:
All DWI offenders must pay a $500 highway safety assessment fee.
While a driver's license suspension is mandatory, the judge is authorized to reduce the period to 90 days of actual suspension by requiring the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). The judge can order the driver to use the IID for a period of one to four years.