Strengthening State DUI Laws

R.I. Chief law officer takes aim at strengthening state DUI laws

PROVIDENCE– A spike in highway fatalities nationwide has stimulated suggested state legislation that would increase charges for those convicted of triggering deaths or injuries while driving under the influence.

Attorney general of the United States Peter F. Kilmartin announced this week that he plans to refile the legislation, which has received the assistance of state Department of Transportation, the Traffic Security Coalition, the Rhode Island Cops Chiefs Association, and Mothers Versus Drunk Drivers. He has presented the expense each year given that he took office in 2011.

” Opting to get behind the wheel of an automobile while inebriated or impaired on drugs is like playing with a loaded gun– it threatens and often fatal,” Kilmartin said. “Every individual who supports the wheel of an automobile while intoxicated is knowingly risking their own life and the life of others on the roads. The charges for such a fatal and callous decision need to show the seriousness of the act, and there can be nothing more major than taking the life of another.”

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The expense provides two steps, one that enhances penalties for DUI resulting in death or injury and a 2nd that would extend the “look back” period from 5 to Ten Years.

Under the proposed legislation, drivers who are convicted of DUI resulting in death would face an increase in penalties from a maximum imprisonment of 15 years to a maximum of 30 years, an optimum fine of $20,000, and license cancellation for up to Ten Years. Charges for conviction of DUI resulting in serious physical injury would increase from an optimum penalty of 10 years to 20 years, a fine of up to $10,000, and license cancellation for approximately five years.

The legislation would likewise increase the jail time for driving so as to endanger resulting in death from Ten Years in prison to an optimal sentence of Twenty Years. Those in offense of owning so regarding endanger resulting in serious bodily injury would confront 10 years in prison.


Kilmartin stated the costs would likewise extend the “recall” duration on 3rd and subsequent alcohol-related offenses to Ten Years. Inning accordance with the Century Council’s Hardcore Driving while intoxicated Sourcebook, a majority of jurisdictions take a look back duration of 10 years. Rhode Island is the only New England state with a “look back” duration of less than Ten Years, the company said.

The “look back” provision describes the length of time offenses stay on a driver’s record– a crucial concern in determining hard-core alcohol-impaired motorists, specifically those in little states that have numerous motorists who live in one state and work in another. Supporters of extended look-back durations say that legislative leaders have to work with their counterparts in other states to fund and implement a nationwide record windows registry for DUIs.

Kilmartin said he hopes the General Assembly will take up the expense, adding that executing the brand-new legislation would assist state prosecutors in providing more appropriate justice for victims of DUI.

“One of the toughest tasks for a prosecutor or victim supporter is to discuss to a family who lost a loved one at the hands of an impaired driver is why the charges are so lax. It’s time for the General Assembly to take action on these steps and recognize that killing someone while impaired is no accident and those who do will pay a heavy cost,” Kilmartin said.