A Suspended Car Leads to a Suspended License

Toy car on chimneyPolice find cars in unusual positions after a DUI crash. They’re usually on the ground, though. Recently a Warwick, Rhode Island police officer found one hanging off a retaining wall of the D&H Collision Center.

You might suppose that the driver mistook the meaning of “Collision Center,” but in fact the cause of the crash appears to be alcohol.

What’s scary is that, according to news reports, the driver couldn’t explain how her car came to be hanging off a wall.

Since the suspect refused a breath test, her license was immediately suspended. The reason is that Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, like most states, has an implied consent law. This law states that when you get your driver’s license you are consenting to submit to a breath test if you are stopped and an officer has probably cause to suspect that you’ve been drinking.

Some people wonder how penalties can be imposed without a trial. The answer is that driving is a privilege, not a right, and in order to keep the privilege motorists are required to abide by the terms of the driver’s license, which includes submitting to a sobriety test.

Refusing a breath test in Rhode Island has some stiff penalties. For a first-time refusal:

  • Suspended license for 6 to 12 months
  • Community service
  • Fees and fines

These are civil, not criminal penalties. Second and third refusals have even stiffer penalties, and you can add to that the increase in insurance rates, which will be considerable.

Then there’s the cost of getting that car off the wall. Fortunately, a collision center is right nearby.