Breathalyzer Refusal - What Does the State Have to Prove?

Published 01/18/2020

What Does The State Have to Prove To Convict You of Breathalyzer Refusal in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island Law gives you the right to have a speedy hearing to contest these charges. You have a right to have a hearing within 15 days. At that hearing the State needs to present evidence of the following:

(1) The law enforcement officer making the sworn report had reasonable grounds to believe that the arrested person had been driving a motor vehicle within this state while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, toluene, or any controlled substance, or any combination of these;

(2) The person, while under arrest, refused to submit to the tests upon the request of a law enforcement officer;

(3) The person had been informed of his or her right to be examined at his or her own expense immediately after the person's arrest by a physician selected by the person; and

(4) The person had been informed of the penalties incurred as a result of noncompliance with this section.

If the Judge or Magistrate finds that these requirements were met then the judge shall sustain the violation. The judge shall then impose the penalties set forth by law.

However, it is important to note that action by the judge must be taken within seven (7) days after the hearing or it shall be presumed that the judge has refused to issue his or her order of suspension.

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