Motor and Other Vehicles

Motor Vehicle Offenses

SECTION 31-27-2.5

§ 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 penalties to be incurred as a result of noncompliance with 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.

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.)