Rhode Island Third-Offense DWI

The fines, jail, and license penalties resulting from a third-offense DWI in Rhode Island.

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.

Criminal Penalties

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:

  • a $400 fine
  • one to three years in prison
  • a two to three-year driver’s license suspension
  • alcohol and drug treatment, and
  • possible vehicle forfeiture.

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:

  • a $1,000 to $5,000 fine
  • three to five years in prison
  • a three-year driver’s license suspension
  • alcohol and drug treatment, and
  • possible vehicle forfeiture.

All DWI offenders must pay a $500 highway safety assessment fee.

Ignition Interlocks and Driver’s License Suspension

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.

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