Rhode Island DUI and Breathalyzer Refusal Differences

Published 12/27/2019

What’s the difference between a DUI and Breathalyzer Refusal charge?

While these two charges generally arise out of the same set of facts, they are completely separate charges.

 A DUI, RI DUI Statute, is a criminal offense punishable by up to one year in jail, up to a $500 fine, substance abuse counseling or DUI school, up to 60 hours of community service, and up to an eighteen (18) month loss of licensee. You would also have to complete DUI school or Substance Abuse Counseling. The maximum penalties will vary depending on which DUI offense you are charged with, DUI blood alcohol level (“BAC”) .08-.10, DUI controlled substance, DUI BAC .10-.15, DUI BAC unknown, and DUI BAC .15 or greater.

A Breathalyzer Refusal, Refusal Statute , is a civil offense punishable by up to a $500 fine, up to 60 hours of community service and up to a one year loss of license. You would also have to complete DUI school or Substance Abuse Counseling. You would also have to pay a $500 highway safety assessment fee and a $200 Department of Health assessment.

The fact that any person charged with a DUI, was legally entitled to use alcohol or a drug shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this section.

These are highly complex cases and you need an experienced Rhode Island DUI and Refusal attorney by your side defending your rights.

 

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