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What do changes in Rhode Island and Massachusetts OUI/DUI laws mean for you?

In 2015, Rhode Island enacted a new law regarding the use of ignition interlock devices in DUI cases. The new law allows judges to require people with a blood alcohol concentration over twice the legal limit to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles. Repeat DUI offenders must also have the device installed.

In Massachusetts, the legislature is considering a law that is even stricter. The new law would mean that all people convicted of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OUI) would have to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles -- even first-time offenders.

Supporters of the proposed law in Massachusetts are hoping it will decrease the number of drunk drivers, as similar laws in other states have. Some people, however, are opposed to the idea. Ignition interlock devices are expensive to install and maintain, and the cost is the responsibility of the driver.

If you are charged with drunk driving in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, an ignition interlock device is not your only concern. Depending on the specifics of your case, you will face additional penalties, including fines and the possibility of jail time.

A DUI/OUI conviction or guilty plea can affect your life for many years. It will show up on background checks, which may make getting certain jobs difficult. You may also lose your auto insurance coverage or have to pay higher premiums.

In this situation, it is important that you understand your rights as well as the charges. Speaking with a lawyer will give you the information you need to decide how to move forward. Discuss your Rhode Island DUI case with our attorneys to learn more.

Source:, "Massachusetts looking to change DUI penalty," Bianca Buono, Nov. 16, 2015.

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