§ 31-27-2.5. Chemical tests to persons under eighteen (18) years of age — Refusal — License suspension.
(a) Any person under eighteen (18) years of age who shall refuse to submit to a chemical test as provided in § 31-27-2 shall have imposed all the penalties provided by § 31-27-2.1, but shall have his or her license suspended on a first violation for six (6) months, subject to the terms of subsection (e) of this section.
(b) Jurisdiction for violations of this section is given to the family court.
(c) If a person as set forth in subsection (a) of this section refuses, upon the request of a law enforcement officer, to submit to a test as provided in § 31-27-2.1, none shall be given, but a judge of the family court, upon receipt of a report or testimony of a law enforcement officer: that he or she had probable cause to stop the arrested person and reasonable grounds to believe the arrested person had been driving a motor vehicle within this state while impaired by intoxicating liquor, toluene, or any controlled substance, as defined in chapter 28 of title 21, or any combination of these; that the person had been informed of his or her rights in accordance with § 31-27-3; that the person had been informed of the implied consent notice contained in subsection (h) of this section; and that the person had refused to submit to the test upon the request of a law enforcement officer; shall promptly order a hearing on whether the person’s operator’s license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state shall be suspended. Upon suspension, the judge shall order the license of the person to be surrendered to the department of administration, division of motor vehicles, within three (3) days.
(d) If the person takes a test, as provided in § 31-27-2 and the test determines the person’s blood alcohol concentration to be at least two-hundredths of one percent (.02%) but less than one-tenth of one percent (.1%) by weight, the person shall be determined to have been driving while impaired. A judge of the family court shall, pursuant to the terms of subsection (e) of this section, order as follows:
(1) A highway safety assessment of one hundred fifty dollars ($150), or community restitution in lieu of highway safety assessment shall be paid by any person found in violation of this section. The assessment shall be deposited into the general fund.
(2) The person’s driving license shall be suspended for six (6) months on a first violation, and may be suspended for a period of up to twelve (12) months, provided the person also shall attend a special course on driving while intoxicated and provided that the person shall also attend an alcohol and/or drug treatment program if ordered by the family court judge. Failure or refusal of the person to attend the course and/or alcohol or drug treatment program shall result in the person’s driving license being suspended until the course or treatment program has been completed.
(3) On a second violation of this section, the person’s driving license shall be suspended until he or she is twenty-one (21) years of age. The sentencing judge shall require alcohol and/or drug treatment for the individual.
(4) On a third or subsequent violation, the person’s driving license shall be suspended for an additional period of two (2) years and the sentencing judge shall require alcohol and/or drug treatment for the individual.
(5) No suspensions, assessments, driving while intoxicated school, or alcohol and/or drug treatment programs under this section can be suspended, shortened, altered, or changed.
(e) Upon suspending a license or permit as provided in subsection (a), (c), or (d) of this section, the family court shall immediately notify the person involved, in writing, as well as the custodial parent if the person is under the age of eighteen (18) years.
(f) The police department which charges any person under eighteen (18) years of age with refusal to submit to a chemical test, driving while impaired by intoxicating liquors or drugs, or driving while under the influence of liquor or drugs, shall ascertain the name and address of the custodial parent of the person and shall notify the parent in writing within ten (10) days of the charge.
(g) The department of administration, upon issuing a first license to a person sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age, shall provide a written notice of the penalties provided by this section. Any violation of this section shall not be considered a criminal offense.
(h) Implied consent notice for persons under eighteen (18) years of age:
“Rhode Island law requires you to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the chemical content of your body fluids or breath. If you refuse this testing, certain penalties can be imposed. These penalties include the following: your Rhode Island driver’s license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state can be suspended for six (6) months or modified to permit operation in connection with an ignition interlock device for a period specified by law; a fine from two hundred dollars ($200) to five hundred dollars ($500) can be imposed; and you can be ordered to perform ten (10) to sixty (60) hours of community service and attend a special course on driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance and/or alcohol or drug treatment. If you have had one or more previous offenses within the past five (5) years, your loss or modification of license, fine, and community service sanctions can increase over those provided for a first offense. All violators shall pay a five hundred dollar ($500) highway safety assessment fee, a two hundred dollar ($200) department of health chemical testing programs fee, and a license reinstatement fee. If you refuse to submit to a chemical test, you will be required to maintain proof of financial responsibility for three (3) years. Refusal to submit to a chemical test shall not be considered a criminal offense. You have the right to be examined at your own expense by a physician selected by you. If you submit to a chemical test at this time, you have the right to have an additional chemical test performed at your own expense. You will be afforded a reasonable opportunity to exercise these rights. Access to a telephone will be made available for you to make those arrangements. You may now use the telephone.”
Use of this implied consent notice shall serve as evidence that a person’s consent to a chemical test is valid in a trial for driving under the influence of liquor, controlled substances, and/or drugs.
History of Section.
P.L. 1986, ch. 420, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 496, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 70, art. 35, § 7; P.L. 1995, ch. 164, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 217, § 1; P.L. 2021, ch. 170, § 1; P.L. 2021, ch. 171, § 1.