"In Rhode Island, the prosecution can prove the elements of a DWI or DUI charge without the admissibility of a chemical test"
01/16/2010 09:56 PM Categories: DUI Law | DWI Law | Criminal Defense Law
In Rhode Island, the prosecution can prove the elements of a DWI or DUI charge without the admissibility of a chemical test. These cases are referred to as “observation” cases. As one can imagine, it is more difficult for the prosecution to prove the elements of a DUI without an empirical analysis of the suspect’s blood alcohol content; however, it can be done in a variety of different factual scenarios. Objective signs of intoxication, those ordinarily testified to as having been observed by the arresting officer or other prosecution witness, include the odor of alcohol on the breath, slurring of speech, inflamed and watery eyes, a ruddy complexion, an unsteady gait, and poor coordination. Usually, one or more of these observed signs comprise the basis for the officer's probable cause in making the arrest. However, as is discussed in the section that follows, a variety of conditions affecting an individual's health can present the same or similar symptoms. Read More...