DUI Defense

To challenge a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge in Rhode Island, a strategic approach is needed to examine the specifics of the arrest process and the evidence gathered by law enforcement.  Understanding Rhode Island’s specific legal standards and procedures for DUI charges is essential for developing a solid defense strategy that questions the prosecution’s case on technical, procedural, or substantive grounds. If you were recently arrested or charged with a DUI, PALUMBO LAW  has highly skilled criminal defense attorneys in Rhode Island.  We will formulate an effective defense strategy to protect your rights.

Considerations Involved In Trying To Challenge A DUI Charge

There are various defense strategies that your defense attorney might use to challenge a DUI charge in Rhode Island:

  • Question The Field Sobriety Tests (or FSTs): The accuracy and administration of field sobriety tests can be challenged, primarily if they were not conducted correctly or if factors could affect the results. FSTs have specific protocols for administration. If the officer administering the tests didn’t follow these procedures, your attorney may successfully challenge the results. In addition, medical conditions, medications, or uneven terrain can affect how someone performs on FSTs. An attorney can argue that these factors impacted your performance, making the results unreliable.
  • Dispute the Accuracy of Breathalyzer Tests:  Breathalyzers require regular maintenance and calibration to ensure accuracy. An attorney can investigate the device used and see if malfunctions or maintenance issues could have skewed the results. Certain medical conditions can cause a false positive on a breathalyzer test.
  • Challenge the Traffic Stop: The defense can argue that the officer did not have a valid reason (reasonable suspicion) to make the initial traffic stop. Your attorney should review the circumstances surrounding your traffic stop and arrest. There might have been a lack of probable cause, meaning that the officer who pulled you over might not have had a legitimate reason to do so. Suppose the officer did not have a valid reason. In that case, your attorney may file a motion to suppress evidence obtained during the stop, such as breathalyzer test results or field sobriety test results. If successful, this can lead to the dismissal of the DUI charges.
  • Blood Test Reliability: If a blood test was administered, the defense might challenge the handling, storage, and analysis of the sample.
  • Rising Blood Alcohol Concentration: Arguing that the defendant’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) was below the legal limit while driving but rose to an illegal level by the time the police administered the test.
  • Medical Reasons: In rare cases, someone might be driving under the influence of a substance other than alcohol or drugs. An attorney can argue for a medical explanation for your driving behavior.
  • No Driving or Actual Physical Control: Demonstrating that the defendant was not driving or physically controlling the vehicle at the time of the alleged offense.
  • Necessity: Arguing that the defendant had to drive under the influence to avoid a greater evil, though this defense is rare and difficult to prove.
  • Duress: Claiming the defendant was forced to drive under the influence due to immediate threat or harm.
  • Mistake of Fact: Arguing that the defendant had a reasonable belief that they were not under the influence or their ability to drive was not impaired.
  • Improper Police Conduct: Evidence obtained through improper or illegal police conduct, including violating the defendant’s rights during the arrest or questioning, can be suppressed.


The above defenses are just some of the possible challenges that can be made. It is crucial to engage a qualified attorney if you find yourself facing DUI charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney can provide advice tailored to the specifics of your case, including the laws of Rhode Island, and ensure that the individual’s rights are safeguarded throughout the legal process. Legal strategies should provide a fair process while the individual takes responsibility for his actions to prevent future issues concerning a DUI charge. PALUMBO LAW has experienced criminal defense attorneys who will work hard to ensure that the authorities and the legal system treat you fairly and your rights are protected. Contact us today.

The content of this blog is intended to be general information and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with a qualified lawyer regarding your specific situation.