Many people facing DUI/DWI or boating under the influence (BUI) charges make the mistake of assuming it’s no more serious than a traffic violation. This is not true. DUI/DWI can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the details of the case. It is a criminal charge that will stay on your record for life. Your auto insurance rates will rise and you may face professional/career consequences.

First-offense DUI penalties

In Rhode Island, a first offense for a misdemeanor DUI may include the following penalties:

  • Up to $1,000 in court fees and fines
  • The suspension of your driver’s license from three months to a year
  • A possible jail sentence of up to a year
  • Community service

Additionally, depending on your case, you may have to install an ignition interlock device on your car.

Did you refuse the Breathalyzer test at the police station? Your driver’s license will be suspended for six months to a year. You may also have to pay more than $1,000 in fines and fees.

Boating under the influence

Too often, boaters are surprised to learn that BUI is a crime. But a boat is a motor vehicle, and operating any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. A first offense may result in penalties such as fines up to $1,000, up to a year in jail and a boating license suspension.

It is not too late to contact a lawyer

If you were charged with DUI or BUI over the weekend, there is still time to speak with an attorney to learn about your rights and options. Defense attorneys handle drunk driving cases every day and they know how to fight the charges.