Breathalyzer Refusal in Rhode Island

 Breathalyzer Refusal Attorney John Macdonald

Breathalyzer Refusal in Rhode Island

During the closing days of its June 2006 session the General Assembly in Rhode Island passed a bill significantly toughening the penalties for refusing a chemical test in the state of Rhode Island. Rhode Island had notoriously had some of the softest laws in the nation on breathalyzer refusal. In 2001, 84.9% of suspected drunk drivers refused testing. The pressure of news media outlets and pressure from organizations such as MADD caused this legislation to be passed.

As a result Rhode Island has toughened state DUI laws and refusal penalties. It has passed legislature to criminalize some breathalyzer test refusals and enact harsher penalties across the board. This means even if you have done the right thing your rights and your license may be in jeopardy!!

THE SOONER YOU ENGAGE AN EXPERIENCED BREATHALYZER REFUSAL ATTORNEY
THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES TO AVOID THESE PENALTIES!

Call Breathalyzer Refusal Defense Attorney John MacDonald NOW at 401-421-1440 and The Law Offices of John E. MacDonald, Inc. will be able to tell you what we can do to protect and defend your rights today.

Should I have refused the Breathalyzer test in Rhode Island?

Like many situations where the answer is based on circumstances it is best to understand the consequences of either choice. Regardless, if you have been arrested for refusal you should contact an experienced attorney immediately to prevent further complications or making any further mistakes in the process and to give you a chance to potentially retain your driving rights.

If you refuse the Breathalyzer test your license and privilege to drive in RI is automatically suspended at your arraignment. This happens prior to any hearing or disposition of the matter on its merits. Your chance for success in fighting for your license is a difficult process. The state of Rhode Island only needs to prove that they had probable cause to arrest you and only need reasonable suspicion to believe that you are operating a motor vehicle under the influence. They will confirm that you were properly read your rights and you did in fact refuse the chemical breath test. Even if you refuse the test you will most likely still be charged with criminal DUI based on the officer (s) report and observations.

Call the Law Offices of John MacDonald NOW at 401-421-1440 and The Law Offices of John E. MacDonald, Inc. will be able to tell you what we can do to protect you as your Rhode Island Breathalyzer Refusal Attorneys.

If you are charged with refusal to submit to a breathalyzer exam and lose the case if it is your first offense within five years the consequences can be steep and costly but it is not a criminal conviction but a civil violation:

First Offense Breathalyzer Test Refusal

Fined $200-$500
Community Service for 10-60 hours
Suspended license six months to one year
Face a Highway Safety Assessment ($500 fee) conducted by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and possible enrollment in a driving school and/or an alcohol treatment program
Pay a $200 fee to support the department of health’s chemical testing programs
OTHER CONSEQUENCES:
Car Insurance Costs go up significantly
So should you take the test?

If you take the test you will not automatically lose your license. If you FAIL the test you will be charged criminally. You then have to weigh the value of your ability to drive versus what having a criminal conviction on your record will do to your life. This is a choice you need to make. So, if you know you will fail the test but can live with a potential criminal conviction but not the automatic loss of your license for 6-12 months then take the test.

Criminal DUI charges provide a better margin of victory as the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle in Rhode Island. They must also prove you were properly read your rights and they met all legal requirements during the arrest. If you lose a criminal DUI case you will have a criminal conviction on your record which could affect employment opportunities or even cost you your job. 2nd and 3rd DUI convictions mean mandatory jail time in Rhode Island as well.

If you are charged with your 2nd or 3rd breathalyzer refusal in the state of Rhode Island these are the penalties you face:

Second Offense Breathalyzer Test Refusal within Five Years

Fined $600-$1000
Suspended license 1-2 years
60-100 hours of community service
Mandatory alcohol or drug treatment
Face a Highway Safety Assessment ($500 fee) conducted by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI)and possible enrollment in a driving school and/or an alcohol treatment program
Pay a $200 fee to support the department of health’s chemical testing programs
OTHER CONSEQUENCES:
Car Insurance Costs go up significantly

Third Offense Breathalyzer Test Refusal within Five Years

Fined $800-$1,000
Up to one year in jail
License suspended 2-5 years
Mandatory 100 hours of community service
Alcohol or drug treatment
Hearing to determine whether license may be reinstated
Face a Highway Safety Assessment ($500 fee) conducted by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and possible enrollment in a driving school and/or an alcohol treatment program
Pay a $200 fee to support the department of health’s chemical testing programs

OTHER CONSEQUENCES:
Car Insurance Costs go up significantly or may not be able to be obtained when you regain your license
If you have been arrested for DUI or Breathalyzer refusal in Rhode Island Call the Law Offices of John MacDonald NOW at 401-421-1440 or CONTACT US VIA EMAIL and The Law Offices of John E. MacDonald, Inc. will be able to tell you what we can do to protect and defend your rights.

Certain situations provide for relatively clear choices when you are faced with potential arrest for refusing the breathalyzer test. Since Rhode Island does not allow for exceptions to use a vehicle for work purposes while your license is suspended you need to weigh your options carefully.

You should always take the test if:

You are certain beyond any doubt that you will pass the test
You should probably refuse the test if:

You have a previous Criminal DUI conviction in the last 5 years since a second conviction comes with mandatory jail time
If someone is injured in an accident you are involved in
This is your first offense and losing your license will not affect your life but a potential criminal conviction would dramatically alter or damage your life or career in ways you could not accept.

Call the Law Offices of John MacDonald NOW at 401-421-1440 and The Law Offices of John E. MacDonald, Inc. will be able to tell you what we can do to protect and defend your rights as your RI Breathalyzer Refusal Defense lawyers.

Results achieved by the attorneys of The Law Offices of John E. MacDonald, Inc.:

Drunk Driving and breathalyzer refusal charges dismissed for failure to prove operation of the vehicle.
Drunk Driving and breathalyzer refusal charges dismissed based upon pre-mature arrest of client without probable cause.
Drunk Driving and breathalyzer refusal charges: not guilty after trial or charges reduced and/or dismissed with no loss of license every year since 1997.
The Law Firm of John E. MacDonald, Esquire is ready to give YOUR DUI or Refusal of Breathalyzer in RI case the attention it deserves. Please CONTACT US today for a FREE consultation.