Everyone knows the holiday season is supposed to be a festive and happy time spent with family and friends, but drinking and driving can put a damper on the merriment. According to the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 40 percent of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers, which is a 12 percent increase over the rest of the month of December. Moreover, Scram Systems reported that 16 percent of adults say they drink more than usual during the holidays.
Rhode Island’s Stance on Drunk Driving
According to the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Rhode Island takes a hard stance against drunk driving. Under the Implied Consent laws in Rhode Island, if you operate a vehicle in the state you are giving consent to a chemical blood alcohol content (BAC) test and it is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. If a driver refuses the BAC test, the Implied Consent laws set penalties such as license suspension for 6 months, ministry service, drunk driving or alcohol treatment programs, or fines. If a driver is found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) and a serious injury occurred, Rhode Island requires a jail sentence of 1-10 years, a fine of $1,000-$5,000, revoked license of up to 2 years, and alcohol and/or drug treatment. Similarly, Rhode Island requires that a DUI resulting in death results in a jail sentence from 5-15 years, a fine of $5,000-$10,000, revoked license for 5 years, and alcohol and/or drug treatment.
Alternatives to Drinking and Driving
Instead of drinking and driving, utilize these simple alternatives:
- Uber and Lyft – these two phone apps can help you and your loved ones stay safe this holiday season. These apps allow you to request a ride 24/7 and are much less expensive than the fines/ penalties involved with drinking and driving.
- Designated Driver – designating a friend or family member is the simplest way to avoid drunk driving since you will all be together, and who doesn’t love some carpool karaoke?
- Avoid Drinking – if either of the two previous options don’t work, staying sober is the best alternative to drinking and driving. This ensures you will be in control of yourself and can even be a designated driver for others.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, call us today for your free consultation. Remember that delay can harm your case. Our experienced legal team is ready to fight for you and prosecute your case to the fullest extent possible. Contact us now at 401-777-7777.