For individuals over the age of 21, the legal blood alcohol limit in Rhode Island in 2017 is 0.08%. Above this limit, you are deemed by law to be driving under the influence in the State of Rhode Island.
There are some exceptions to the 0.08% limit:
- For drivers under the legal drinking age of 21, the legal limit in Rhode Island is 0.02%.
- For drivers holding a commercial drivers license (CDL License), the limit is lower at only 0.04%.
- If your blood alcohol content is in excess of 0.15%, you are subject to increased DUI penalties upon conviction which can include probation and suspended jail time, extended loss of license, and significantly higher fines.
- If you are on probation, it is possible for the State to pursue a probation violation based on impaired driving with a blood alcohol content below the legal limit of 0.08%.
However, even if the Police do not know your precise blood alcohol content you can still potentially be convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. This is because the Rhode Island DUI law permits proof of driving under the influence of alcohol two ways:
- By proof of a blood alcohol content in excess of 0.08% by way of a chemical breath test or a blood draw or
- By proof by way of observations evidence showing that the Motorist was impaired to a degree that rendered him incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle.
The first way requires proof of an elevated blood alcohol level. The second way, which is typically utilized when the Motorist refuses to submit to a chemical test, is more subjective and will usually be based on the testimony of the arresting police officer.
When facing any allegation of drunk driving, your best bet is to have an experienced DUI attorney on your side. Attorney Matthew Marin has nearly a decade of DUI defense experience in every court in the State of Rhode Island. Contact us today to schedule a no obligation DUI defense strategy session to hear how he can help you. He is available 24/7 at 401-228-8271 or via email at [email protected].