Rhode Island Drunk Driving Accidents Attorney

Drunk driving accidents are a significant concern in Rhode Island, with the state consistently ranking higher than the national average for alcohol-related fatalities. In 2022, law enforcement arrested about 3,000 drivers for driving under the influence, and nearly 70% of those arrested refused chemical testing. Those who did submit to tests were found to have an average blood alcohol concentration of 0.17, which is over twice the legal limit. In the same year, nearly 44% of all motor vehicle fatalities in Rhode Island involved alcohol-impaired drivers, much higher than the national average of approximately 30%​ (Rhode Island DOT)​.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has been proactively working to combat impaired driving through initiatives like “Beyond the Crash” and the “Ripple Effect” campaigns. These programs emphasize the broad impact of impaired driving on families, friends, and communities. Despite the ongoing efforts to reduce these numbers, Rhode Island continues to have a drunk driving problem, and the state remains committed to addressing it through public awareness campaigns, law enforcement, and collaborative community conversations. In short, drunk driving poses severe risks to everyone on the road. Alcohol impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction time, leading to an increased likelihood of accidents. These accidents can result in property damage, injuries, and even fatalities.

Personal Injury Accidents Caused by Drunk Driving in Rhode Island:

    • Liability in Drunk Driving Accidents: In Rhode Island, drunk drivers who cause accidents are typically held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. This liability extends not only to the driver but also potentially to any establishments or individuals who provided alcohol to the driver if they were visibly intoxicated at the time.
    • Types of Injuries: Injuries resulting from drunk driving accidents can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and even death.
    • Legal Recourse for Victims:  If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident in Rhode Island, you have legal recourse to seek compensation for your injuries and other losses, which can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Victims of drunk driving accidents can pursue compensation by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. A personal injury claim typically involves proving negligence on the part of the drunk driver, such as their failure to operate the vehicle safely due to intoxication.
  • Insurance Claims: In Rhode Island, like in most states, drivers are required to carry auto insurance. Victims can file claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to cover their damages. The claim can seek both economic damages (such as medical bills and lost wages) and non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering).
  • Civil Lawsuits: If the victim cannot reach a settlement through insurance negotiations, they can file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver. A successful lawsuit can result in a jury awarding compensation to the victim for their injuries and other losses.
  • Punitive Damages: In some cases, victims of drunk driving accidents may also be awarded punitive damages. These are additional damages intended to punish the at-fault driver for their reckless behavior and to serve as a deterrent to others.


Dealing with the aftermath of a drunk driving accident can be complex and overwhelming. Victims should seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide them through the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies on their behalf, and advocate for their rights in court if necessary. Drunk driving accidents in Rhode Island can result in severe injuries and damages for victims. However, victims have legal recourse to seek compensation for their losses through personal injury claims, insurance claims, and civil lawsuits. The skilled attorneys at PALUMBO LAW will take the time to learn all about your case. Whether you were offered an initial settlement by insurance or are starting from the beginning, we will fight to maximize your claim legally. We have the foresight and skill also to consider future damages that may harm the victim for years to come, including pain, emotional trauma, and subsequent injuries. PALUMBO LAW can adequately evaluate the full extent of the damages and ensure you receive fair compensation. Contact our office for an initial consultation if an accident involving a drunk driver has left you injured.