Rhode Island DUI Law Harsher But Fairer

Posted by Michael Zarrella | Jul 08, 2014 | 0 Comments

This session, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed and the Governor signed into law new amendments to the already strict Rhode Island DUI law.  Effective January 1, 2015, convicted DUI offenders with a BAC at 0.15 or above, repeat DUI offenders and DUI offenders who have repeatedly refused BAC tests will be mandated to install interlock devices in their vehicles.

However, this new law does address Rhode Island's long-term need of a hardship license. Rhode Island unlike Massachusetts does not have what many refer to as a "hardship" or "Cinderella" license.  Many people in the state of Rhode Island who receive a DUI or Refusal conviction are almost certain to lose their jobs because of the impossibility of getting to work and from work.  Many people that live in rural areas of Rhode Island do not have the benefit of public transportation therefore a conviction makes them unemployable. This new law gives judges the discretion to allow first time DUI offenders to drive to and from work if they have installed an ignition interlock system in their vehicle.  This law only allows a temporary license with limited times for the sole purpose of allowing employment.

Now more than ever,  it is important to hire a Rhode Island lawyer who concentrates in the area of Drunk Driving and criminal law.  These new laws can be helpful but also can lead to more serious penalties.  Lawyers who do not regularly practice in the DUI area may not be as  well versed in these laws and their nuances.

The Law Offices of Michael J. Zarrella has concentrated on criminal defense and DUI defense for 20 years.  Call him now at (401)523-5271 or visit his website at or

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Michael Zarrella is one of Rhode Island's top DUI attorneys. If you have been charged with a DUI or any criminal matter, contact him today.