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What are the potential penalties for a first-time DUI?

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2022 | Criminal Defense

As we head into the holiday season in Rhode Island, there are more celebrations and time spent with friends and family. People often consume alcohol during these events.

If people drive while they are intoxicated, they could be arrested and charged with a DUI, and face the serious penalties that come with those convictions.

Even first-time DUI convictions could result in serious penalties under Rhode Island law. However, the actual penalties people may face for a first-time DUI depend on the driver’s level of intoxication.

Potential penalties for first-time DUIs

There is a presumption that anyone who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more is intoxicated and can be charged with a DUI.

There are three levels of penalties based on how high the drivers’ BAC levels are. The penalties begin with drivers who have a BAC at 0.08%.

  • BAC between 0.08% and 0.10.%: People could be ordered to complete between 10 and 60 hours of community service and/or sentenced to up to a year in jail. They also could be fined between $100 – $300 and their driver’s licenses could be suspended for 30-180 days.
  • BAC between 0.10% and 0.15%: The penalties remain the same as above with the exception that the fine could be up to $400, the driver’s license suspension could increase to 3–12 months and they will need to complete a safety class.
  • BAC above 0.15%: Those convicted will have to perform between 20–60 hours of community service and/or up to a year in jail. They will have a fine of $500 and their driver’s licenses could be suspended for 3–18 months. They will also need to complete a safety class.

The penalties for any DUI in Rhode Island can result in serious penalties. There are potential defenses available. Experienced attorneys understand how DUI convictions affect people and may be a useful resource.