Rhode Island is one of the many states in the US that is afflicted with a serious problem of alcohol addiction and alcoholism. Alcohol addiction runs rampant in the communities of Rhode Island, and the need for alcohol rehab and alcohol treatment programs in the area has never been greater.

Alcohol Rehabs in Rhode Island gives individuals who are struggling with alcohol addiction and alcoholism a second chance for the future. Caring specialists know what individuals are up against when they attempt to overcome alcohol addiction, and are prepared to help individuals in any way through recovery process. To ensure a lasting recovery, individuals will receive important life tools which will help them change behaviors and learn how to make the right choices. Effective alcohol treatment and alcohol rehab in Rhode Island gives individuals the power to take back control and become more productive and happy in life.

Individuals in Rhode Island who have struggled with alcohol addiction for some time will most often experience physical withdrawal when they suddenly quit drinking alcohol. Withdrawal is no joke, and can be an extremely tough and painful process to endure. In some cases withdrawal can even be fatal. It is extremely important that individuals in Rhode Island get the help they need through this process. An alcohol rehab can successfully supervise them through withdrawal so they can begin their next steps of treatment.

Alcohol Rehab Programs in the Rhode Island area are plentiful, and include Long-term Alcohol Rehabilitation Programs, Outpatient Alcohol Rehabs, Short-term Alcohol Treatment Centers, Inpatient Alcohol Rehabilitation Facilities, support group meetings, alcohol counseling, halfway houses and sober living.

There are workable solutions that someone struggling with alcohol addiction and alcoholism can avail themselves of today. Seek alcohol treatment and rehabilitation in Rhode Island, before it is too late.


Rhode Island alcohol related information and statistics are provided by the US Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Conference of State Legislatures, 2004. In Rhode Island, the most alcohol-related deaths were reported in 1982, with 71, which represents 67% of the total traffic fatalities that year. The number reached its lowest point in 1995, with 28 reported. There has been no improvement in the number of alcohol related fatalities since then. The percentage of traffic fatalities that were alcohol related went from a high of 67% in 1982, to a low of 41% in 1995 and 1999. In the most recent year reported, out of all traffic fatalities, 38% involved a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, down from 61% in 1982.

The table below shows the total number of traffic fatalities (Tot) for the Rhode Island, alcohol related fatalities (Alc-Rel) and fatalities in crashes where the highest BAC in the crash was 0.08 or above (0.08+). It is important to note that the Rhode Island drunk driving statistics, as shown below, include data from individuals who were in an alcohol-related crash, but not driving a motor vehicle at the time. The U.S. Department of Transportation defines alcohol-related deaths as "fatalities that occur in crashes where at least one driver or non-occupant (pedestrian or bicyclist) involved in the crash has a positive Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) value." The fatality rates shown above refer to the number of people killed in all traffic accidents and, separately, in alcohol related traffic accidents, per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

All 50 states in the US now apply two statutory offenses to driving under the influence of alcohol. The first (and original) offense is known either as driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI), or operating [a motor vehicle] while intoxicated/impaired (OWI). This is based upon a Rhode Island police officer's observations (driving behavior, slurred speech, the results of a roadside sobriety test, etc.) The second offense is called "illegal per se", which is driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Since 2002 it has been illegal in all 50 states to drive with a BAC that is 0.08% or higher.

Year

Fatalities

Tot

Alc-Rel

%

0.08+

%

1982

105

71

67

65

61

1983

100

60

60

53

53

1984

79

52

66

41

52

1985

109

57

52

51

47

1986

124

79

64

67

54

1987

113

56

49

52

46

1988

125

69

55

58

47

1989

100

49

49

45

45

1990

84

51

61

45

53

1991

88

45

51

36

41

1992

79

43

54

39

50

1993

74

40

54

35

48

1994

63

31

49

23

37

1995

69

28

41

26

38

1996

69

33

48

26

38

1997

75

41

55

36

48

1998

74

36

49

27

37

1999

88

36

41

28

32

2000

80

41

52

37

46

2001

81

48

59

38

47

2002

84

46

55

37

44

2003

104

57

55

52

50

2004

83

42

50

41

49

2005

87

43

50

34

39

2006

81

37

46

29

36

2007

69

32

47

25

36

2008

65

29

45

25

38



2003-2004 Rhode Island Alcohol Related Issue: Percentage % Ranking

Alcohol Abuse or Dependence

9.59%

[7th of 51]

Alcohol consumption > Binge drinkers

18.2%

[5th of 52]

Alcohol consumption > Casual drinkers

66.3%

[3rd of 52]

Alcohol consumption > Heavy drinkers

7.3%

[2nd of 52]

Alcohol related traffic fatalities

42

[47th of 51]

Alcohol related traffic fatalities (per capita)

0.39 per 10,000 people

[43rd of 51]

Alcohol related traffic fatalities, as a percentage

50%

[1st of 51]

Alcohol Use in the Past Month

60.58%

[3rd of 51]

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2003-2004, Office of Applied Studies 2003-2004 and the MADD Official Website statistics 2004

When is a driver considered to be legally drunk in Rhode Island?

  • Non-commercial drivers in Rhode Island age 21+ are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
  • Drivers of commercial vehicles in Rhode Island are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater. In Rhode Island, school bus drivers are commercial drivers.
  • Drivers under 21 in Rhode Island are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .02 or more.

Penalties for Drunk Driving in Rhode Island

  • A driver in Rhode Island who commits a first violation with a BAC of at least .08 but less than .10 must pay a fine of $100 to $300 and perform 10 to 60 hours of community service work and/or be imprisoned for up to one year. The offender's driver's license will be suspended for 30 to 180 days.
  • A driver in Rhode Island who commits a first violation with a BAC of at least .10 but less than .15 must pay a fine of $100 to $400 and perform 10 to 60 hours of community service work and/or be imprisoned for up to one year. The offender will also be required to attend a special course on DUI and/or undergo alcohol treatment. The offender's driver's license will be suspended for three to 12 months.
  • A driver in Rhode Island who commits a first violation with a BAC of .15 or greater must pay a fine of $500 and perform 20 to 60 hours of community service work and/or be imprisoned for up to one year. The offender will also be required to attend a special course on DUI and/or undergo alcohol treatment. The offender's driver's license will be suspended for three to 18 months.
  • A driver in Rhode Island who commits a second DUI within five years of the first offense and whose BAC was at least .08 but less than .15 must pay a mandatory minimum fine of $400. The offender will also be imprisoned for 10 days to one year and be required to undergo alcohol treatment. The driver's license suspension period is one to two years. After completing all terms of the sentence, the judge may require the offender to use an ignition interlock device for one to two years.
  • A driver in Rhode Island who commits a second DUI within five years and whose BAC was .15 or more will be imprisoned for six months to one year and fined at least $1,000. The driver's license suspension period is two years. After completing all terms of the sentence, the judge may require the offender to use an ignition interlock device for up to two years.
  • A driver in Rhode Island who commits a third or subsequent DUI within a five-year period and whose BAC was at least .08 but less than .15 will be imprisoned from one to three years and must pay a mandatory minimum fine of $400. The offender will also be required to undergo alcohol treatment. The driver's license suspension period is one to three years. After completion of all terms of the sentence, the judge may require that the offender use an ignition interlock device for up to two years. The judge also has the discretion to seize the vehicle owned and operated by the violator and have it sold by the state of Rhode Island.
  • A driver in Rhode Island who commits a third or subsequent DUI within a five-year period and whose BAC was .15 or greater will be imprisoned for three to five years and fined $1,000 to $5,000. The driver's license suspension period is three years. Following completion of all terms of the sentence, the judge may require the offender to use an ignition interlock device for up to two years. The judge also has the discretion to seize the vehicle owned and operated by the violator and have it sold by the state of Rhode Island.

Additional Punishment in Rhode Island for DUI While a Passenger Under 13 was in the Vehicle

Any person who is 18 or older and who is convicted of DUI in Rhode Island while a child under 13 was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the offense may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of up to one year.

Penalties for DUI Resulting in Death

A person who is convicted of DUI in Rhode Island resulting in the death of another faces the following penalties:

  • For a first violation, the offender will be imprisoned for five to 15 years and fined $5,000 to $10,000. The offender's driver's license will be revoked for five years.
  • For a second or subsequent violation in Rhode Island within a five-year period, the offender will be imprisoned for 10 to 20 years and fined $10,000 to $20,000. The offender's driver's license will be revoked for five years.

Penalties for DUI Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury

A person who is convicted of DUI in Rhode Island resulting in serious bodily injury to another faces the following penalties:

  • For a first violation, the offender will be imprisoned for one to 10 years and fined $1,000 to $5,000. The offender's driver's license will be revoked for up to two years.
  • For a second or subsequent violation in Rhode Island within a five-year period, the offender will be imprisoned for two to 15 years and fined $3,000 to $10,000. The offender's driver's license will be revoked for up to four years.

Commercial Drivers

In addition to other penalties that may apply under Rhode Island's DUI laws, a commercial driver who commits a first DUI while driving a commercial vehicle will have his or her commercial driver's license suspended for at least one year. If, however, the driver was transporting hazardous materials at the time, the suspension period is at least three years. A commercial driver who commits a second DUI in Rhode Island while driving a commercial vehicle will have his or her commercial license revoked for life, which may or may not be reduced to a period of at least 10 years.

Drivers Under 18

A person under 18 who commits a first DUI in Rhode Island will be required to perform 10 to 60 days of community service. The juvenile's driver's license will also be suspended for six to 18 months. The judge may require the juvenile to attend a special course on DUI. The juvenile may also be required to pay a fine of up to $500.

A person under 18 who commits a second or subsequent DUI in Rhode Island is subject to a mandatory driver's license suspension until he or she reaches 21. The judge may also sentence the juvenile to the Rhode Island Training School for up to one year and/or fine the offender up to $500.

What is Rhode Island's Liquor Liability Act?

Under this law, licensed drinking establishments in Rhode Island can be liable for injuries caused by "negligent" or "reckless" service of alcohol to a minor or to a visibly intoxicated person. Service of liquor is "negligent" if the server knows, or a reasonable person should have known, that the person being served is a minor or visibly intoxicated. In the case of a minor, service of alcohol without a request for identification is evidence of negligence. A claim for negligent service of alcohol cannot be brought by the intoxicated drinker if he or she is 21 or older. The claim can, however, be brought by a minor who was negligently served alcohol and later suffered injury because of intoxication. The claim can also be brought by a third person who was injured as a result of negligent service to a minor or to a visibly intoxicated person.

Licensed drinking establishments in Rhode Island can also be liable for "reckless" service of liquor. Service is "reckless" if the server intentionally serves alcohol to a person when the server knows that the individual is a minor or is visibly intoxicated and the server consciously disregards an obvious and substantial risk that serving liquor to that person will cause physical harm to the drinker or to others. Evidence of "reckless" service includes active encouragement of intoxicated individuals to drink substantial amounts of alcohol, service of liquor to a person under 21 with knowledge that the person is under 21, and service of liquor to a person that is so excessive that it creates a substantial risk of death by alcohol poisoning.

Damages under Rhode Island's Liquor Liability Act may be awarded to compensate for all injuries suffered by the victim. Additionally, punitive damages may be awarded for actions based on reckless service. Any action brought under Rhode Island's Liquor Liability Act must be brought within three years of the date of the injury.

Criminal Penalties for Furnishing Alcohol to Minors

An adult who furnishes alcohol in Rhode Island to a person under 21 is subject to a term of imprisonment of up to six months, a fine of $350 to $1,000, or both for the first offense. For a second violation, the offender faces a term of imprisonment of up to six months, a fine of $750 to $1,000, or both. For a third or subsequent violation, the offender faces a term of imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of $2,500, or both.

Criminal Liability for Selling Alcohol to a Person Under 21

In addition to other penalties that may apply, a server at a licensed drinking establishment in Rhode Island who serves a minor is subject to pay a fine of $250 for a first offense. For a second offense within three years, the server is subject to pay a $500 fine. For a third or subsequent violation within three years, the fine is $750.

  • Contact Us
  • Facts
  • An estimated one-third of youth begin drinking alcohol before the age of 13.
  • The consequences of alcohol misuse are serious-in many cases, life threatening. Heavy drinking can increase the risk for certain cancers, especially those of the liver, esophagus, throat, and larynx (voice box).
  • In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt promised the repeal of Prohibition if he was elected. Shortly after becoming president, Roosevelt legalized beer sales.
  • An estimated 6.6 million American children under the age of 18 live in homes with at least one alcoholic parent.