Charges of driving under the influence (DUI) in Rhode Island come with numerous possible penalties. You may have to pay fines and could go to jail. The state will also likely suspend your license.
The length of the suspension depends on someone’s driving record. Those with prior DUI offenses can face longer suspensions than someone accused of a first-time impaired driving offense.
Losing the freedom to drive can be one of the most challenging consequences of a DUI charge in Rhode Island. For some people who need to drive to get to work or to take care of their family members, requesting a hardship license could help them mitigate the impacts of a DUI conviction.
How does the hardship license program work?
Under Rhode Island state law, it is possible for those facing an alcohol-related suspension of their driving privileges to request a hardship license. If the courts approve their request, one of the conditions for the hardship license will be the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in the individual’s vehicle.
An IID can help prevent repeat offenses by forcing those convicted of a DUI offense to submit to chemical testing every time they try to start their vehicles. Failing the test means the vehicle won’t start. Drivers have to pay to install an IID, and they could face the loss of their license and additional consequences if they get caught driving a vehicle without an IID installed while still subject to hardship licensing restrictions.
Installing an IID can protect your career and your freedom
Losing your license can have a ripple effect on the rest of your life. Even if you expect to use public transportation or rideshare services to get to work, you might find yourself frequently delayed or struggling to get reliable transportation.
Frequent tardiness or absence from work could affect your career, even if your employer does not intend to take punitive actions against you because of the DUI conviction. Securing a hardship license helps ensure that you can still support yourself and your family after a DUI charge.
Learning more about the consequences of a Rhode Island DUI charge can help you properly respond to an impaired driving arrest.