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Asiento asignado por el Registro Nacional de Asociaciones Español: Grupo 1º, Sección 1ª, Numero 600121 - NIF: G76556646 ...

Rhode Island Drugged Driving

In Rhode Island, a person is guilty of a DUI if he or she drives while under the influence of drugs, or any controlled substance. In addition, a person who drives with a blood presence of any scheduled controlled substance, as shown by analysis of a blood or urine sample, shall also be guilty of DUI. Id. § 31-27-2(b). However, a registered qualifying medical use patient shall not be considered to be under the influence solely for having marijuana metabolites in his or her system.

In addition to any other penalty prescribed by law, whoever operates any motor vehicle while knowingly having in the motor vehicle or in his or her possession, a controlled substance, shall have his or her license suspended for a period of six (6) months. Id. § 31-27-2.4(a).

Affirmative Defense

The fact that any person charged with violating this section is or has been legally entitled to use alcohol or a drug shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this section. Id. § 31-27-2(b).

Implied Consent

  • Any person who operates a motor vehicle within this state shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to chemical tests of his or her breath, blood, and/or urine for the purpose of determining the chemical content of his or her body fluids or breath.Id. § 31-27-2.1(a).

  • The penalty for the first refusal of chemical testing is a fine in the amount of two hundred dollars ($200) to five hundred dollars ($500), ten (10) to sixty (60) hours of public community restitution, and the person's driving license in this state shall be suspended for a period of six (6) months to one year. Id. § 31-27-2.1(b)(1). Penalties increase with multiple offenses. Id. §§ 31-27-2.1(b)(2)-(3).

  • If an individual refuses to consent to a chemical test, and a peace officer, has probable cause to believe that the individual was operating a motor vehicle under the influence a chemical test may be administered without the consent of that individual provided that the peace officer first obtains a search warrant authorizing administration of the chemical test. The chemical test shall determine the amount of the alcohol or the presence of a controlled substance in that person's blood or breath. Id. § 31-27-2.9(a).

  • Evidence that the defendant had refused to submit to the test shall not be admissible unless the defendant elects to testify. Id. § 31-27-2.1(c)(1).

Penalties

  • First offense with controlled substance present in blood - fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than three hundred dollars ($300); required to perform ten (10) to sixty (60) hours of public community restitution; possible imprisonment for up to one year; offender may be required to attend a special course on driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance; driver's license shall be suspended for thirty (30) days up to one hundred eighty (180) days. Id. § 31-27-2(d)(1)(i).

  • First offense while under the influence of a controlled substance - fine of five hundred dollars ($500); offender required to perform twenty (20) to sixty (60) hours of public community restitution; possible imprisonment for up to one year; driving license shall be suspended for a period of three (3) months to eighteen (18) months; the sentencing judge shall require attendance at a special course on driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance and/or alcohol or drug treatment for the individual. Id. § 31-27-2(d)(1)(iii)

  • Second offense with controlled substance present in blood (w/i 5 years) - mandatory fine of four hundred dollars ($400); driving license shall be suspended for a period of one year to two (2) years; the individual shall be sentenced to not less than ten (10) days nor more than one year in jail - not less than forty-eight (48) hours of imprisonment shall be served consecutively; the sentencing judge shall require alcohol or drug treatment for the individual; judge may prohibit that person from operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock system for a period of one year to two (2) years. Id. § 31-27-2(d)(2)(i),

  • Second offense while under the influence of a controlled substance (w/i 5 years) - mandatory imprisonment of not less than six (6) months nor more than one year; mandatory fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000); mandatory license suspension for a period of two (2) years from the date of completion of the sentence imposed under this subsection. Id. § 31-27-2(d)(2)(ii).

  • Third or subsequent offense with controlled substance present in blood (w/i 5 years) felony - mandatory fine of four hundred ($400) dollars; offender's driving license shall be suspended for a period of two (2) years to three (3) years; offender sentenced to not less than one year and not more than three (3) years in jail - not less than forty-eight (48) hours of imprisonment shall be served consecutively; the sentencing judge shall require alcohol or drug treatment for the individual, and may prohibit that person from operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock system for a period of two (2) years following the completion of the sentence; the sentencing judge may have vehicle owned and operated by the violator seized and sold, with all funds obtained by the sale to be transferred to the general fund. Id. §§ 31-27-2(d)(3)(i),(iii).

  • Third or subsequent offense while under the influence of a controlled substance (w/i 5 years) - mandatory imprisonment of not less than three (3) years nor more than five (5) years; mandatory fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000); mandatory license suspension for a period of three (3) years from the date of completion of the sentence imposed; the sentencing judge may have vehicle owned and operated by the violator seized and sold, with all funds obtained by the sale to be transferred to the general fund. Id. §§ 31-27-2(d)(3)(ii),(iii).

Other Penalties & Penalty Enhancers

  • Any person over the age of eighteen (18) who is convicted for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, while a child under the age of thirteen (13) years was present as a passenger in the motor vehicle, at the time the offense was committed, may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than one year. Id. § 31-27-2(d)(4)(ii).

  • Any person convicted of a violation under this section shall pay a highway assessment fine of five hundred dollars ($500). Id. § 31-27-2(d)(5)(i).

  • If the person convicted of violating this section is under the age of eighteen (18) years - for the first violation he or she shall be required to perform ten (10) to sixty (60) hours of public community restitution; offender's driving license shall be suspended for a period of six (6) months, up to eighteen (18) months; the sentencing judge shall also require attendance at a special course on driving while under the influence of a controlled substance and/or drug education; possible highway assessment fine of no more than five hundred dollars. Id. § 31-27-2(d)(6)(i).

Sobriety Checkpoints

In Rhode Island, sobriety checkpoints have been found illegal under the state Constitution.

  • Although federal constitution has similar construction, states are free to afford a greater degree of protection to citizens. Nondiscretionary sobriety checkpoints, even those deemed to be constitutional under Federal law, violate Rhode Island Constitution for want of probable cause or reasonable suspicion. Primental v. Rhode Island, 561 A.2d 1348 (1989).

Case Law

State v. DelBonis, 862 A.2d 760 (2004) -- When prosecuting DUI cases, state bears the burden of proving each and every element necessary beyond a reasonable doubt.

State v. DiCicco, 707 A.2d 251 (1998) -- Absent a blood alcohol test which exceeds DUI per se level, conviction may be sustained if other evidence establishes beyond reasonable doubt that person was under influence of intoxicating drugs or any controlled substance to degree which rendered him incapable of safely operating vehicle.

State v. Capuano, 591 A.2d 35 (1991) -- The Legislature, in removing the actual physical control language from the section, intended that more than simple possession of a motor vehicle was necessary to constitute operating or driving.

Per Se Drugged Driving Laws

Rhode Island has a zero tolerance per se drugged driving law enacted for cannabis and other controlled substances. However, a registered qualifying medical use patient shall not be considered to be under the influence solely for having marijuana metabolites in his or her system.

Violating the law is punishable by up to 12 months in jail upon conviction for a first offense. 

Rhode Island Medical Marijuana

SUMMARY: The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act took effect immediately upon passage on January 3, 2006. The law removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess "written certification" from their physician stating, "In the practitioner's professional opinion, the potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for the qualifying patient." Patients diagnosed with the following illnesses are afforded legal protection under this act: cachexia; cancer; glaucoma; Hepatitis C; severe, debilitating, chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to, those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn's Disease; or agitation of Alzheimer's Disease. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Rhode Island Department of Health. Patients (and/or their primary caregivers) may legally possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis and/or 12 plants, and their cannabis must be stored in an indoor facility. The law establishes a mandatory, confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients. Patients who do not register with the Department of Health, but have received certification from their physician to use medicinal cannabis, may raise an affirmative defense at trial.

RECIPROCITY: Yes. Authorizes a patient with a debilitating medical condition, with a registry identification card (or its equivalent), to engage in the medical use of marijuana. Also authorizes a person to assist with the medical use of marijuana by a patient with a debilitating medical condition. R.I. Gen. Laws § 21-28.6-4(k) (2006).

AMENDMENTS: Yes.

In June 2007, the Rhode Island House and Senate enacted legislation eliminating the sunset clause of the The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act, making the provisional program permanent

ADDITIONAL AMENDMENTS: Yes.

In 2009, lawmakers enacted legislation authorizing the establishment of state-licensed not-for-profit 'compassion centers' to "acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, supply or dispense marijuana, or related supplies and educational materials, to registered qualifying patients and their registered primary caregivers." The Rhode Island Department of Health will oversee the licensing and regulating of these facilities. Copies of the regulations are available for public inspection in the Cannon Building, Room #201, Rhode Island Department of Health, 3 Capitol Hill, Providence, Rhode Island, on the Department's website: http://www.health.ri.gov/ or the Secretary of State's website: http://www.sos.ri.gov/rules/, by calling 401-222-7767 or by e-mail to Bill.Dundulis@health.ri.gov.

However, in October 2011, Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced that he was suspending the licensing system indefinitely, stating: "I have decided that the State of Rhode Island cannot proceed with the licensing and regulation of medical marijuana compassion centers under current law. ... I have received communications from both the United States Department of Justice and from the United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island that large scale commercial operations such as Rhode Island's compassion centers will be potential targets of 'vigorous' criminal and civil enforcement efforts by the federal government. I cannot implement a state marijuana cultivation and distribution system which is illegal under federal law and which will become a target of federal law enforcement efforts. I am hopeful that the General Assembly will introduce new legislation in the upcoming session that will address the flaws in, and indeed make improvement to, the existing medical marijuana card and caregiver system while not triggering federal enforcement actions."

ADDITIONAL AMENDMENTS: Yes.

In 2010, lawmakers enacted legislation, House Bill 8172, ensuring the confidentiality of medical marijuana patients' records. The law states, in part, "Applications and supporting information submitted by qualifying patients, including information regarding their primary caregivers and practitioners, are confidential and protected under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and shall be exempt from the provisions of the RIGL chapter 38-2 et seq. the Rhode Island access to public records act and not subject to disclosure, except to authorized employees of the department as necessary to perform official duties of the department."

MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATUTES: The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act, R.I. Gen. Laws § 21-28.6 (2006).

CAREGIVERS: Yes. The caregiver must be 21 years of age or older. Primary caregiver may assist no more than 5 qualifying patients with their medical use of marijuana. R.I. Gen. Laws 1956, §21-28.6-3 (9) (2006).

CONTACT INFORMATION: http://www.health.state.ri.us/
Application Forms are available at www.health.ri.gov/hsr/mmp/index.php or by visiting room 104 at the Health Department, 3 Capitol Hill, Providence.

More helpful information can be found here: http://ripatients.org/

Rhode Island Penalties


Incarceration


Fine

Possession

Less than 1 kg

misdemeanor

1 year

$200 - $500

1 kg to 5 kg

felony

10 years

$10,000 - $500,000

More than 5 kg

felony

20 years

$25,000 - $100,000

Within 300 yards of a school, public park or playground

felony

double penalty

double penalty

Possession while driving causes driver's license suspension for 6 months (first offense), and 1 year (subsequent offense).

Sale or Cultivation

Less than 1 kg

felony

30 years

$3,000 - $100,000

1 kg to 5 kg

felony

10 years

$10,000 - $500,000

More than 5 kg

felony

20 years

$25,000 - $100,000

Delivery to a minor 3 years younger

felony

2 - 5 years

$10,000

Within 300 yards of a school, public park or playground

felony

double penalty

double penalty

Miscellaneous (paraphernalia, license suspensions, drug tax stamps, etc...)

For sentences of probation with no imprisonment, the offender is required to undergo a drug abuse evaluation, attend a drug education course and perform 100 hours of community service.

 

Details

 

Possession of less than one kilogram of marijuana is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $200 - $500.

Driving while in possession of marijuana is penalized by suspension of the offender's driver's license for six months for the first offense and for one year for subsequent offenses.

Manufacture or delivery of less than one kilogram of marijuana is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $3,000 - $100,000. Delivery to a minor at least three years younger than the offender adds an additional 2 - 5 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Sale or possession within 300 yards of a school, public park or playground doubles the possible penalties.

A new law eliminating mandatory minimum drug sentences in Rhode Island has taken effect without the governor's signature. The new law, which took effect December 2009, leaves the sentence to the judge's discretion.

For sentences of probation with no imprisonment, the offender is required to undergo a drug abuse evaluation, attend a drug education course and perform 100 hours of community service.



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