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Per Se Charges

When an individual is charged with a DUI or OUI in Rhode Island, the prosecution will rest his or her case on proving either that the individual was mentally or physically impaired by consuming alcohol or taking drugs or that the person violated Rhode Island’s “per se” laws. The per se case rests on the prosecution being able to prove that a person’s blood alcohol content was .08 or more.

To show that the person was mentally or physically impaired, the prosecution will introduce evidence of erratic driving patterns, poor performance on any standardized field sobriety tests that were performed, signs and symptoms of intoxication like red or watery eyes and slurred speech, and chemical test results. These tests rest on the accused actually submitting to a field sobriety test in many cases.

Per se prosecutions, on the other hand, spend very little time on the mental and physical states of the driver and impairment. Per se prosecutions center solely on the driver’s blood alcohol content. It is said that if a person violates the .08 BAC level, he or she is automatically guilty of DUI or OUI based on this violation. The degree of impairment does not matter. The fact that the BAC was above the legal limit makes the person guilty.

Because of this evidence, per se cases are somewhat more difficult to win. Fortunately, the level of alcohol in a person’s blood stream can fluctuate greatly over a very short period of time. It is well known that skilled OUI or DUI lawyers are able to challenge the accuracy of chemical tests.

Contact Us

If you have been charged with DUI and are facing a “per se” prosecution, contact Rhode Island DUI defense lawyer Matthew Marin at 401-287-4384 to discuss your situation and to determine the best plan for a successful defense.