23Jul 2015
Jul 23, 2015

What is ‘legally drunk’ in Rhode Island

For driver under the age of 21 years, they are considered to be legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .02, for non-commercial drivers above 21 years, they are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .08. However, for commercial vehicle drivers, they are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol concentration is more than .04. In Kentucky, school bus drivers are commercial drivers. In Rhode Island, school bus drivers are commercial drivers.

Rhode Island Drunk Driving Penalties

Drivers who commit a DUI offence for the first time with a BAC level of at least .08 but not more than .10 face the following penalties:

  • A prison sentence of up to 1 year
  • A fine ranging from $100 to $300
  • Community service work for 10 to 60 hours
  • The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is 1 month to 6 months

However, if the offenders BAC level is more than .10, he/she faces:

  • A prison sentence of up to 1 year
  • A fine ranging from $100 to $400
  • Community service for 10 to 60 hours
  • The offender will be required to enroll in an alcohol treatment program
  • The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is 3 to 12 months

For third second time offenders with a BAC level of .08 to .15, they face:

  • A prison sentence of 10 days to 1 year
  • A fine of $400
  • The offender will be required to enroll in an alcohol treatment program
  • The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is 1 to 2 years

For a second time offender with a BAC level of more than .15, they face:

  • A prison sentence of 180 days to 1 year
  • A fine of at least $1,000
  • The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is 2 years

For third time offenders with a BAC level of .08 to .15, they face:

  • A jail term of 1 to 3 years
  • A fine of at least $400
  • The offender will also be required to enroll in an alcohol treatment program
  • The offender will be required to equip all the vehicles he/she uses with an ignition interlock device for 2 years

 
For third time offenders with a BAC level of more than .15, in addition to the penalties above, they face:

  • A jail term of 3 to 5 years
  • A fine of $1,000 to $5,000
  • The driver’s license suspension period is 3 years

 

The Point System in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island DMV does not use the point system, however, when you receive a ticket for any traffic violation it is recorded on your driving record. If you commit to many traffic offenses you risk your driver’s license suspension, revocation or cancelation, reinstatement fees and higher car insurance rates.