Every March, Rhode Islanders’ look forward to the infamous Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Whether or not we’re Irish, we like to show a bit of the Erin go Bragh and enjoy the day. Coincidentally, this year’s parade falls on St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17th. The day starts as early as 6 a.m. for some people who wake up and get their green and partying on. The madness continues late into the night at local bars and restaurants. Alcohol can certainly impair one’s judgment. You may believe you are sober enough to drive but in the eyes of the law, you are above the legal limit of .08. Police officers will be out in full force on St. Patrick’s Day, looking for even the slightest reason to pull you over.
A conviction for DUI in Rhode Island or OUI in Massachusetts will dramatically affect your life and your lifestyle. At a minimum, you can expect:
- You will get arrested – Whether you decline a breathalyzer or fail a sobriety test, you will be arrested and booked at the local police station.
- You will have a court date – You will receive a summons to appear in court. There, you will be required to plead guilty or not guilty.
- You will pay various fines – The amount you will end up owing in fines vary, however, you can expect some hefty legal fees coming your way.
- Your license will be suspended – No matter where you live, your driver’s license will be suspended if you get a DUI. In Rhode Island, you could have your license suspended for several months or even years.
- You may go to jail – Sentences vary on the severity of your DUI.
- You may need to attend a safe driving class – Designed to stray you away from ever drinking and driving again, these classes can be quite costly, adding to the fees you will incur.
- You may need to pay more for your car insurance – You may need to get a SR-22 insurance plan, which could almost triple your car insurance premiums.
- You will need to get an ignition interlock system installed into your car – Ignition interlock systems are a system many offenders have installed in their car that requires them to blow into a machine. Your car will only start if you have a 0.00 BAC.
A DUI conviction, however, is not a certainty, even if you blew over .08. Before you decide to plead guilty, you should speak with an experienced DUI or OUI criminal defense lawyer. An attorney can examine all the issues that could lead to a dismissal of the charge or reduction to a non-alcohol driving offense. DUIs can happen to anyone and the punishments can vary, but it is important you know what to expect and your options. We at Sheeley Law encourage you to have fun this St. Patrick’s Day, but please celebrate safely and don’t drink and drive.