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Refusal To Submit to a Chemical Test

What is a chemical test? This simply refers to a breathalyzer test which measures alcohol content in the deep lung air which is done from having the person arrested breathe into a breath test instrument.  It can also refer to a blood test, drawing blood and analyzing it to determine the blood alcohol content. The police can ask for up to 2 tests only.

                This charge relates to the refusal to submit to a chemical test after a DUI arrest. If the police ask you to blow into the breathalyzer or give blood and you refuse, the State must prove the following;

  • That upon sworn affidavit, the arresting officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person charged had been operating a motor vehicle under the influence;
  • That person had been informed of their right to an independent medical examination;
  • That person had been informed of the penalties:
  • The person refused a chemical test

Other rights afforded to someone charged with Refusal is they have the right to a confidential phone call and they also have the right to have their own test, by a doctor of their choice, in addition to the chemical test requested by police.

If the charge is sustained here are the penalties you could face:

 1st Offense

  • $200-$500 fine, plus court costs
  • 10-6- hours of community service
  • A 6-12-month loss of license
  • A DUI driving course and/or alcohol treatment
  • $200 Department of Health fee
  • $500 Highway Assessment

2nd Offense within 5 years

  • $600-$1000 fine, plus court costs
  • 60-100- hours of community service
  • A 1-2-year loss of license
  • Alcohol/drug treatment
  • $200 Department of Health fee
  • $500 Highway Assessment
  • Up to 6 months at the ACI

3rd Offense within 5 years

  • -$800-$1000 fine, plus court costs
  • 100- hours of community service
  • A 2-5-year loss of license
  • Alcohol/drug treatment
  • $200 Department of Health fee
  • $500 Highway Assessment
  • Up to 1 year at the ACI
  • Mandatory ignition interlock in vehicle

A first offense is a civil violation and is handled at Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal. A second and Third Offense are criminal misdemeanor charges. Even though a first offense is not a criminal offense you should hire an experienced attorney. Our experienced attorneys have not only prosecuted these offenses, but have also taught at various police academies, we know exactly what to look for to help you defend this charge!

If you have been charged with a refusal and are facing a license suspension, there are ways to get you back in your car by having an ignition interlock installed in your vehicle. Check out the Blog on our website about this topic and hire us today so we can start working on getting you back in the driver's seat!

Award Winning Legal Team

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