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DUI Defenses in Rhode Island

Some of the defenses or challenges to a DUI charge are the constitutionality of the stop, admissibility of the breath test results, lack of informing the accused, and valid medical and health problems when refusing to submit to breathalyzer or chemical tests.

Because the officer needs to have reasonable suspicion or a warrant when stopping a vehicle, if the officer randomly stopped the car without reasonable suspicion that the driver was unsafely operating the vehicle, then this may be grounds for dismissal of the case as the stop was unlawful and unconstitutional. Also, an individual may undergo a clinical assessment at the community college of Rhode Island’s center for workforce and community education and show that he or she has problems of alcohol, drug abuse, or psychological problems associated with alcoholic or drug abuse, and then the person will be referred to an appropriate facility. Furthermore, if any of the following elements were violated, then any evidence obtained through such violation may not be submitted to show that the driver was operating the vehicle under the influence hindering or even dismissing the case:

  • the individual must have consented to taking the test or there must be a warrant;
  • if the individual took a breath test, then a copy of the report must have been mailed to the person within 72 hours of taking the test;
  • if the individual took a chemical test (blood, urine, etc.), then a copy must have been mailed to the person within 30 days of taking the test;
  • the test methods and equipments must have been approved in advance;
  • if taking the breath test, the test must have been tested for accuracy within 30 days of taking the actual test, and must be operated by those who are qualified and certified;
  • the officer must take note of having given the arrested individual for DUI charge the opportunity to take another chemical test and must inform the person of his or her rights;
  • the officer must have informed the individual of his or her rights and the penalties to follow when refusing the tests.

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