Title 31
Motor and Other Vehicles

Chapter 27
Motor Vehicle Offenses

R.I. Gen. Laws § 31-27-2.3

§ 31-27-2.3. Revocation of license upon refusal to submit to preliminary breath test.

(a) When a law enforcement officer has reason to believe that a person is driving or in actual physical control of any motor vehicle in this state while under the influence of alcohol, the law enforcement officer may require the person to submit to a preliminary breath analysis for the purpose of determining the person’s blood alcohol content. The breath analysis must be administered immediately upon the law enforcement officer’s formulation of a reasonable belief that the person is driving or in actual control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, or immediately upon the stop of the person, whichever is later in time. Any chemical breath analysis required under this section must be administered with a device and in a manner approved by the director of the department of health for that purpose. The result of a preliminary chemical breath analysis may be used for the purpose of guiding the officer in deciding whether an arrest should be made. When a driver is arrested following a preliminary breath analysis, tests may be taken pursuant to § 31-27-2.1. The results of a preliminary breath test may not be used as evidence in any administrative or court proceeding involving driving while intoxicated or refusing to take a breathalyzer test, except as evidence of probable cause in making the initial arrest.

(b) If a person refuses, upon a lawful request of a law enforcement officer, to submit to a test under subsection (a) of this section, that person shall be guilty of an infraction and shall be subject to the penalty provided in § 31-41.1-4. However, it shall be a defense to a charge of refusing a validly requested preliminary breath analysis that the medical condition of a person precluded the giving of any such test.

History of Section.
P.L. 1982, ch. 326, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 123.