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Rhode Island Auto Driving Laws

Suspension or Revocation of Licenses - Violations

Offenses resulting in mandatory revocation of license.

In accordance with Rhode Island driving law, the license of any chauffeur or operator shall be immediately revoked upon receipt by the division of motor vehicles of a record of the operator's or chauffeur's final conviction for any of the following offenses of Rhode Island traffic laws and the term of revocation shall be for the periods enumerated:

  1. Manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle, or operating so as to endanger resulting in death, three (3) years;
  2. Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of a narcotic drug as defined in chapter 28 of title 21, which renders him or her incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle, one year;
  3. Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, the period of time, if any, as may be ordered in the final sentence imposed by a court having jurisdiction to impose the sentence;
  4. Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used, eighteen (18) months;
  5. Failure to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another, two (2) years;
  6. Perjury or the making of a false affidavit or statement under oath to the division of motor vehicles under any other law relating to the ownership or operation of motor vehicles, two (2) years;
  7. Conviction, or forfeiture of bail not vacated, upon three (3) charges of reckless driving committed within a period of twelve (12) months, three (3) years;
  8. Conviction of altered or fraudulent license used to purchase or attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages, three (3) months.

Reinstatement after revocation or suspension.

(a) In accordance with Rhode Island driving law, any person whose license or privilege to drive a motor vehicle on the public highways has been revoked or suspended for violations of Rhode Island traffic laws shall not be entitled to have a license or privilege renewed or restored unless the revocation or suspension was for a cause which has been removed.

After the expiration of the term of the revocation or suspension he or she may apply to be restored to his or her right to drive; but, in accordance with Rhode Island driving law, the division of motor vehicles shall not grant the application unless and until it is satisfied after investigation of the driving ability of the person that it will be safe to license him or her to drive a motor vehicle on the public highways and it has received a reinstatement fee of seventy-five dollars ($75.00).

Under Rhode Island driving law, the reinstatement fee and assessment fee shall not be required by any person whose license was suspended on the basis of physical or mental fitness and who has later been declared competent to operate a motor vehicle.

(b) Any person whose license has been suspended on the basis of physical or mental fitness shall have the right to request review at any time of the suspension determination in accordance with the hearing procedures of 31-11-7(d) - (f), Rhode Island driving law.

"Habitual offender" defined.

In accordance with Rhode Island driving law, an "habitual offender" is any person, resident or nonresident, whose record, as maintained in the office of the division of motor vehicles, shows that the person has accumulated the convictions, or findings of delinquency or waywardness in the case of juveniles, for separate and distinct offenses of Rhode Island traffic laws, described in subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of this section, committed within a three (3) year period, provided that where more than one included offense shall be committed within a six (6) hour period the multiple offenses shall, on the first occasion, be treated for the purposes of this article as one offense, provided the person charged has no record of prior offenses chargeable under this article, and provided further that the date of the Rhode Island driving law offense most recently committed occurs within three (3) years of the date of all other offenses the conviction for which is included in subdivision (1), (2), or (3) of this section as follows:

(1) Three (3) or more convictions, or findings of delinquency or waywardness in the case of a juvenile, singularly or in combination, of the following separate and distinct offenses of Rhode Island driving law arising out of separate acts:

(i) Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;

(ii) Driving or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor or drugs in violation of 31-27-2;

(iii) Driving a motor vehicle while his or her license, permit, or privilege to drive a motor vehicle has been suspended or revoked in violation of 31-27-2.1 or chapter 11 of this title;

(iv) Willfully operating a motor vehicle without a license;

(v) Knowingly making any false affidavit or swearing or affirming falsely to any matter or thing required by Rhode Island traffic laws or as to information required in the administration of the laws;

(vi) Any offense punishable as a felony under Rhode Island driving law or any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;

(vii) Failure of the driver of a motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the death or injury of any person to stop close to the scene of the accident and report his or her identity in violation of 31-26-1; or

(viii) Failure of the driver of a motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to an attended or unattended vehicle or other property in excess of one hundred fifty dollars ($150) to stop close to the scene of the accident and report his or her identity or otherwise report the accident.

(2) Six (6) or more convictions, or findings of delinquency or waywardness in the case of a juvenile, of separate and distinct Rhode Island driving law offenses, singularly or in combination, in the operation of a motor vehicle which are required to be reported to the division of motor vehicles and the commission of which requires the division of motor vehicles or authorizes a court to suspend or revoke the privilege to operate motor vehicles on the highways of this state for a period of thirty (30) days or more, and the convictions shall include those offenses of Rhode Island traffic laws enumerated in paragraph (1)(ii) of this section when taken with and added to those offenses described in this section.

(3) The Rhode Island driving law offenses included in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this section shall be deemed to include offenses under any valid town or city ordinance paralleling and substantially conforming to the state statutory provisions cited in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this section and all changes in or amendments of them, and any federal law, and law of another state or any valid town, city, or county ordinance of another state substantially conforming to those statutory provisions.

For More Information

Rhode Island Department of Transportation

(Source: StateDrivingLaw.com)


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