§ 31-40-8. Operation of motor vehicle by habitual offender prohibited Penalty Enforcement of section.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any motor vehicle in this state while the order of the court prohibiting the operation is in effect. The operation may be punished by imprisonment of not more than five (5) years. No portion of the sentence shall be suspended or deferred, except that in cases where the operation is necessitated in situations of apparent extreme emergency which require the operation to save life or limb, the sentence, or any part of it may be suspended or deferred.
(b) For the purpose of enforcing this section, in any case in which the accused is charged with driving a motor vehicle while his or her license, permit, or privilege to drive is suspended or revoked, or who is charged with driving without a license, the court before hearing the charge shall determine whether the person has been held an habitual offender and by reason of the holding, is barred from operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state.
(P.L. 1970, ch. 77, § 1; P.L. 1974, ch. 219, § 2.)