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Understanding Rhode Island DUI Laws

Posted by Ken Barrett | Feb 07, 2018 | 0 Comments

In Rhode Island, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or liquor, pursuant to Rhode Island Statute §31 – 27 – 2. There are several ways one might be guilty of DUI. Understanding the three ways one can commit the crime of driving under the influence may make the offense less likely.

Three Ways You Can Be Charged with DUI in Rhode Island

1. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

First, it is illegal in Rhode Island to drive under the influence of alcohol. We all know someone who has two drinks and becomes clearly intoxicated. Even if his blood alcohol concentration is below the legal limit for blood alcohol (more on that in a minute), if someone's judgment, reaction times, and ability to control themselves and their action is impaired by the consumption of alcohol, legally they are not allowed to drive.

2. Driving with an Alcohol Concentration of .08 or More

When you consume alcohol, your blood alcohol concentration increases as a percentage of your blood, breath, or urine. This type of DUI is a strict measurement of how much alcohol is present in your body. Even if you feel just fine, and even if your judgment is not impaired in the slightest, if your blood alcohol concentration is greater than the legally allowed limit, you can be charged with driving under the influence. 

3. Driving with Controlled Substances in Your System

In Rhode Island, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any amount of a controlled substance in your blood or urine. “Controlled substances” are defined by statute, and include opiates, opium derivatives, hallucinogenic substances, depressants, and stimulants. In light of the fact having any amount of these controlled substances in your system constitutes an element of the offense of driving under the influence, care should be taken when taking medication – even medication prescribed to you legally – and driving. Ask your doctor if any drug prescribed fits within these categories, and plan accordingly.

If You or a Loved One Has Been Charged with Driving Under the Influence...

If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Consequences can include fines, community service, and jail time, as well as the loss of your driving privileges for a period of time. This is not the time for you to learn to practice law. Just as you wouldn't act as your own doctor, you shouldn't act as your own lawyer.

Instead, contact the Law Office of Kensley R. Barrett, Esq. Mr. Barrett has the experience necessary to adequately review your case for constitutional violations, factual errors or omissions, or problems with the DUI test results. Where appropriate, we raise legal challenges to the evidence. We also seek to negotiate a resolution minimizing negative consequences for you.

About the Author

Ken Barrett

Attorney Kensley Barrett is a skilled criminal defense lawyer with a proven track record in handling a wide range of cases in Rhode Island. Known for his strong background in trial advocacy and negotiation, Barrett is dedicated to providing personalized and effective representation for his clients. Recognized as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers and with a 10.0 "Superb" rating on Avvo, he consistently achieves successful outcomes, including acquittals, dismissals, and reduced charges.


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Kensley Barrett

Our law firm was founded on the belief that working with us is more than just hiring a lawyer. Working with us will bring you peace of mind and also allow you to continue with your regular life while we attend to your legal matters. Our vast experience means that it allows us to excel in both aggressively representing your interests and generating the best possible result for you.