Rhode Island Senator Proposes New Felony DUI Law

By Mary Ann

A Rhode Island Senator will propose a new felony DUI law. The Senator’s proposal would make it a felony to be caught driving on a license which has been suspended due to a DUI conviction. Currently, driving on a suspended license warrants an additional 3 month suspension and a fine. A second offense adds another 6 month to a driver’s suspension. A third offense causes revocation of the driver’s license.

The Senator said that “given the state’s status as having the highest percentage of traffic-related deaths caused by drunk drivers, it is clear that additional steps need to be taken.” He wants to get tough on “offenders who are punished with a suspended license simply getting back on the road again in the hope they won’t be stopped.”

Drivers convicted of DUI could also be required to turn in their license plates for the duration of their suspension. Special paper license plates would be issued during the suspension so that police could better identify the vehicle as one that has a driver restriction on it. If a DUI offender is caught driving another vehicle, the license plates for that vehicle would also be confiscated.

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