Welcome to Legal Help
Home Rhode Island DUI Laws Frequently Asked Questions about DUI in Rhode Island

Free Help – Ask Your DUI Questions

legal dui questions

Choose a State

Frequently Asked Questions about DUI in Rhode Island

What is a Preliminary Breath Test?

An officer may request a preliminary breath test to determine the BAC of the driver, if he reasonably believes the individual had been driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and the test was administered immediately upon the officer’s formulation of the reasonable belief, when the person is in actual control of the vehicle while under the influence, or when the person is immediately stopped, whichever is later in time. The results may be submitted only as evidence of the officer having probable cause to make the initial arrest of the individual. A person may use the reason of his medical condition as a defense to refuse the requested preliminary breath test.

What is the Implied Consent Law in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island presumes that when a person is operating his or her vehicle, then he or she is deemed to have given consent to chemical tests of his or her breath, blood, and/or urine for the purpose of determining chemical content in his or her body. Therefore, it is presumed that all drivers have consented to chemical tests when operating his or her vehicle in the State.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device is like a breathalyzer that is installed into the vehicle’s dashboard. For the vehicle’s motor to start, the driver would have to exhale into the device to check his or her BAC, and if it is lower than the programmed BAC, then the motor will start working, but if the result is greater than the programmed BAC, then the engine will not even start. When a person is convicted of a DUI for the second or more time within a 5 year period with BAC of 0.08% or greater, BAC is unknown, or drugs are present in the blood, then as one of the punishments, the individual may be prohibited from operating a vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock system for 2 years following the completion of sentence.

Can I be stopped and arrested for DWI even if the vehicle was not moving?

No, because the officer must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is intoxicated (under the influence of alcohol or drugs) and was operating the vehicle. The issue is not whether the driver was intoxicated, but rather whether he or she was intoxicated and driving the vehicle, and thus unsafely operating the vehicle against the public interest. In support, a case held that the suspect did not operate a vehicle while under the influence by sitting astride an idling motorcycle with the kickstand up, and thus there would have been no lawful stop and arrest.

Do I have the right to talk to an attorney before I give a sample?

Yes, the arrestee/driver who is suspected of driving under the influence has a right to a confidential telephone call for the purpose of obtaining an attorney or arranging for bail. The person must be afforded his phone call within one hour from the time of detention or arrest. The driver must have been informed of his right to a telephone call, but failure to notify the suspect is not fatal to the case unless the driver was prejudiced by the lack of communication. Furthermore, the driver may also ask for his own physician to conduct the tests, but at his own expense, instead allowing the certified physician the State had assigned for the task.

Do I have to give a blood or urine sample?

An individual does not have to submit to blood tests if he or she has a medical condition that would not allow for the continuance of the test, but there must be a notation of the condition on the license. However, the individual would be required to submit to a breath or urine test since he or she cannot submit a blood test. If the individual refuses to take any chemical tests, then no tests will be administered, but he or she will be arrested if the officer had reasonable belief that the individual was operating the vehicle in violation of the DUI laws and informed the person of his or her rights and the penalties that follow refusal to take tests.

Special Courses on DWI/DUI:

A college or university accredited by the state will administer the mandatory special courses on DWI/DUI individuals must take. However, the charged person must pay at least $25, a reasonable tuition for the course, and a fee of $175, which will be deposited into the general fund.


If you have any questions about speeding tickets, please ask them at our legal help forum. free legal questions

Ask Questions, Get Answers

free legal help forum

Contact a DUI Lawyer Today!