The short answer is Yes.
It is commonly referred to as an OBSERVATION CASE.
In Rhode Island, you can be charged with a DUI based upon the observations of the police officer and other witnesses. The prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to a degree that rendered you incapable of safely operating a vehicle.
If you refused the chemical test (Breathalyzer/ Blood Test), the lack of a breathalyzer reading, makes proving the DUI, beyond a reasonable doubt, more difficult for the prosecution because they are relying on observations alone.
**Please read my blog post on What to do When Pulled Over For a DUI in Rhode Island.
The prosecutors will use the following evidence to prove their case for DUI:
- Erratic operation
- swerving, speeding, slow driving, accidents
- Initial Observations of Defendant
- Appearance - bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, odor of alcohol
- Movements – Slow, lethargic, confused, fumbling
- Any Statements made by Defendant
- Admission of Drinking or Consumption of Drugs
- Being at a Party or Bar
- Admission to being in wrong location (going home but going in the complete opposite direction.)
- Observations Outside the Vehicle
- Movements- Unsteady on Feet, Falling Over,
- Performance on Field Sobriety Test
- Statements Made After Arrest
- No matter what you tell the police at this point will not undue the arrest. What ever information you give can only further incriminate you.
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