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Frequently Asked Questions About Rhode Island DUI Cases

Answers from a Rhode Island DUI Attorney

The time following a DUI arrest can be intimidating. If you or someone you love has been arrested, take some time to review our answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about Rhode Island DUI cases.

Do you automatically lose your license after a Rhode Island DUI arrest?

No, you do not automatically lose your license for a DUI in Rhode Island. In Rhode Island, you will never automatically lose your license after being arrested and charged with DUI in RI. At a minimum, you will keep your drivers license until... (continue reading)

What does DUI/First Offense/Bal Unk mean?

The charge of “dui/first offense/bal unk” indicates that you are being charged with a first offense drunk driving charge and that the police do not have blood or breath test evidence against you (continue reading)

What happens at your arraignment on a Rhode Island DUI charge?

Your first appearance before a District Court Judge on a Rhode Island DUI charge is referred to as an arraignment.  At this arraignment, you will be asked for your name, address, and date of birth. The Judge will then proceed with the arraignment and ask you... (continue reading)

Can you refuse a Preliminary Breath Test (roadside breathalyzer) in Rhode Island?

Legally, you are required to submit to a preliminary breath test if requested to do so by a law enforcement officer who has reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence... (continue reading)

What is the look-back period for Rhode Island DUI convictions?

 Rhode Island DUI law provides for enhanced penalties for those charged with DUI when you have been convicted of a prior DUI offense within the preceding five years. This is in contrast to other states where... (continue reading)

How will a Rhode Island DUI conviction affect my CDL license?

Commercial drivers licenses are subject to federal law. The federal laws regarding CDL licenses provides that if you are convicted of a DUI or refusal to submit to a chemical test in Rhode Island, you will automatically lose your CDL license for... (continue reading)

Can I drive to work after a Rhode Island DUI charge?

Due to recent changes to in the Rhode Island DUI laws, there are options that an experienced Rhode Island DUI attorney can help you explore to keep your license to drive to and from work... (continue reading)

What is the legal blood alcohol limit in Rhode Island?

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.  However, there are some exceptions... (continue reading)

What is the implied consent law in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, when you are issued a drivers license you are impliedly consenting to take a chemical test if arrested on suspicion of DUI. A chemical test can be a breath test, a blood test, or both a breath test and a blood test... (continue reading)

Can I beat a Rhode Island DUI charge if I failed a breath or blood test?

It is absolutely possible to beat a DUI case after failing a chemical breath test and it is by no means automatic that you will lose your case and be convicted just because you took a chemical breath test and your readings were over the legal limit... (read more)

Will the jury know I refused a breath test at my trial?

In Rhode Island, if your DUI case heads to trial the Prosecution will not be able to tell the jury that you refused to submit to a breath test. While you can be cited for refusing to submit to a chemical test, the Rhode Island DUI law prohibits... (continue reading)

Do first time DUI offenders go to jail in Rhode Island?

For the vast majority of our clients we are able to tell them, with confidence, that as long as they do not get into further legal trouble they will not serve a jail sentence.  However, there are always exceptions... (continue reading)

How much is the fine for a DUI in Rhode Island?

The fine imposed for a DUI conviction in Rhode Island varies based on the nature and severity of the offense charged. For first offense DUI convictions, the fine imposed for can range between $100 and $500... (continue reading)

What are the penalties for a second offense DUI charge in Rhode Island?

A second offense DUI charge within a five year period is a serious misdemeanor criminal offense that carries a mandatory jail sentence, thousands of dollars in fines, costs, and assessments, alcohol or drug treatment, and a lengthy period of probation... (continue reading)

Is Drunk Driving a Felony in Rhode Island?

The vast majority of DUI charges brought and prosecuted in the State of Rhode Island are misdemeanor charges.  The legal difference between misdemeanor and felony charges in Rhode Island is based upon... (continue reading)

What are the penalties for driving on a suspended license after a chemical test refusal?

When your license is suspended for certain reasons, including refusal to submit to a chemical test, you face extreme penalties for even a first offense.  The offense carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of at least ten days if convicted for a first offense... (continue reading)

What are the penalties for boating under the influence (BUI) in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, the penalties for boating under the influence can be extremely severe. Every person who operates a boat under the influence will face... (continue reading)

What happens if you are charged with a Rhode Island DUI but hold a MA drivers license?

If you hold a Massachusetts drivers license, navigating a Rhode Island DUI case can be extremely difficult. Typically, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will not take action on your Massachusetts drivers license while your Rhode Island DUI case is still pending but... (continue reading)

Does an out-of-state DUI count as a prior offense in Rhode Island?

If you received a DUI charge in another state, it MAY constitute a prior offense for purposes of enhancing or upgrading your Rhode Island DUI charge to a second or third offense drunk driving charge.  If you have been charged with an enhanced or upgraded Rhode Island DUI charge... (continue reading)

How long does a DUI conviction stay on your record in Rhode Island?

A first offense DUI charge that resulted in a conviction will remain on your record for at least five years. Moreover, to remove the DUI conviction you must file a Motion to Expunge in the Court where the case was heard and... (continue reading)

What is a Rhode Island ignition interlock license?

An ignition interlock license is a limited privilege to operate a motor vehicle that is typically imposed as part of a sentence on a DUI or chemical test refusal case. The ignition interlock license permits the individual to... (continue reading)

What is an ignition interlock device in Rhode Island?

An ignition interlock device is a device that prevents individuals from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The device operates as a breathalyzer attached to an individual's vehicle... (continue reading)

Who are the approved ignition interlock providers in Rhode Island?

The Rhode Island DMV maintains a list of approved ignition interlock providers.  Each one of these will satisfy a Rhode Island District Court or Traffic Tribunal Order requiring an ignition interlock device... (continue reading)

How will a Rhode Island DUI affect my job search?

A Rhode Island DUI conviction can cause serious negative consequences when seeking employment. Typically, a part of each and every job application will involve answering questions about your criminal history... (continue reading)

How will a Rhode Island DUI affect my college financial aid (FAFSA)?

The ramifications that can be felt after being charged with a DUI in Rhode Island can be far reaching.  One of the unknowns you may face is the impact that a DUI charge could potentially have on your ability to receive financial aid from the government... (continue reading)

Will the Police report my Rhode Island DUI arrest to my college?

It is possible that the Police will report your DUI arrest to your college. We have represented hundreds of college students arrested and charged with drunk driving in our nearly a decade of experience. There is no uniform or standard way... (continue reading)

Attorney Marin Named A SuperLawyer for Ten Consecutive Years 2014-2023

Attorney Matthew Marin has been named a Rhode Island SuperLawyer for 10 consecutive years from 2014 thru 2023. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Rhode Island are selected by the Research Team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers selects lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in their practice area.

Rhode Island Members of the National College for DUI Defense

Attorneys Matthew Marin and Kensley Barrett are both Rhode Island General Members of the National College for DUI Defense. Members represent some of the most experienced and cutting edge DUI defense attorney's throughout the Country. Nationwide, DUI laws are extremely complex and constantly changing and the College facilitates the exchange of innovative defenses throughout the Country.