You’ve worked hard, and a vacation is a well-deserved time to kick back and relax. Time off is about enjoying yourself, and that often means imbibing in a few intoxicating drinks. However, getting behind the wheel drunk while on vacation is a terrible decision that can have far-reaching consequences. What happens when you get a DUI on vacation?
What Happens When You Get a DUI out of State?
When you get a DUI on vacation, you are usually out of your home state. In the United States, DUI laws vary quite a bit from state to state. The consequences of the DUI will depend on where you are.
What Is the Process of a DUI on Vacation?
When a police officer pulls you over for suspicion of drunk driving, the process is generally the same worldwide. The officer will run a series of roadside test and request a breathalyzer test. If the driver fails any of these, they get arrested for drunk driving. Once you are released, several things will happen.
License Suspension in Vacation State
The Department of Motor Vehicles in the state in which you are vacationing will start the administrative process of suspending your license for two reasons.
- Your BAC, or Blood Alcohol Count, is higher than the limit in that state.
- You refused a breathalyzer or chemical test.
You will have the right to appeal the suspension. Depending on the state, the suspension may stay in place while you are waiting for your court date. Additionally, if you lose or don’t appeal at all, the license suspension in that state can become permanent.
License Suspension in Home State
Whether or not the suspension extends to your home state depends much on where you live. The court where the offense took place will send a report to the courts where you live. Some states will suspend your license for the same period. Other possibilities include:
- Taking alcohol education classes
- Paying a reinstatement fee
All states report suspensions to the National Driver Registry or NDR, so there is no way to hide the offense from your home state.
DUI on Vacation in Rhode Island (DWI)
Rhode Island is a fantastic place to vacation, with its miles of coastline, colonial history, and great attractions. Newport, RI especially attracts tourists from all over the United States and the world. Rhode Island also has stringent drunk driving laws and takes drunk driving arrests very seriously, so if you decide to vacation in the smallest state, keep that in mind.
Rhode Island Laws
In Rhode Island, a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is for those under 21, a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) is for those over 21.
- A DWI applies to anyone driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher.
- A DUI applies to anyone driving with a BAC of 0.02% to 0.08%.
- A DWI or a DUI that results in death or severe injury is a felony.
- If you operate a vehicle in RI, you are giving “implied consent” to a chemical blood alcohol content test.
- Moreover, refusing a test incurs penalties including drivers license suspension of six months to one year, fines from $200 to $500, drunk driving school, community service, a highway safety assessment fee of $500, and possible alcohol treatment.
- A second offense will incur further penalties and fines, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
It is imperative that you secure an attorney experienced in Rhode Island DUI and DWI law. They will be able to guide you through the many complexities of the Rhode Island court system, and intense DUI and DWI laws.
The Court Appearance
Getting a DUI on vacation almost always results in a required court appearance. It is critical to pay close attention to dates, and not miss any court appearances. Of course, it can be extremely inconvenient to have to return to where you were vacationing to appear in court. However, skipping your court date can have dire repercussions including:
- A warrant for your arrest in that state.
- New offenses including “failure to appear” and “bail jumping.”
- Getting arrested on a warrant if stopped for any other reason anywhere.
- A ban from foreign travel.
For a DUI on Vacation, Do You Get an in-State Lawyer or a Lawyer out of State?
It is an essential first step to consult with a lawyer in your home state to find out what all your options are. Unfortunately, if that lawyer doesn’t have a legal license to practice in the state where the arrest took place, they won’t be able to help you in your court appearance there.
Getting arrested while you are away from home can be a terrifying and confusing experience. Don’t ever try to do it by yourself. If you get a DUI on vacation in Rhode Island, contact an experienced attorney immediately. The first consultation is always free.