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.