Rock Island, RI- A Rock Island police officer is hot water after crashing his car into a tree and a house while intoxicated.
Officer Chris Halberg, 25, a three year veteran of the force, was driving south on 30th Street on April 22nd when lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a tree then into a house. Halberg was the only person in the vehicle and was not injured, the Quad City Times reported.
Rock Island Assistant Chief declined to say whether Halberg submitted to field sobriety tests or his status within the department, saying only that an internal investigation has been launched.
Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense which can lead to accidental injuries and death; the NHTSA estimates that roughly one-third of all nationwide fatal traffic collisions.
Rhode Island recognizes the dangers of intoxicated driving and has tough laws regarding this offense. A conviction for a first DUI with a blood-alcohol level of .08 can result in one year in jail, suspension of your driver’s license for up to six months and costly fines. Driving with a blood alcohol level of .10 to 015 has even heavier penalties—you could lose your license for up to one year– and fines.
Because studies have shown that at least 50 percent of people who are arrested for DUI will repeat the offense so the penalties for a second DUI is more severe, carrying a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail and a two year suspension of their driver’s license.
Some drivers mistakenly believe that if they refuse to submit a breathalyzer test the state won’t be able to secure a conviction, this is not true. Rhode Island has what is called and “Implied Consent” law which basically means that you as a motorist has given the state permission to conduct a breathalyzer. Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer in the automatically results in a suspension of your driver’s license; this happens before you ever even appear in court. Even if you refuse to submit to the test, you can still be charged with a DUI.
Aside from a possible jail sentence and loss of your license, a DUI conviction will appear on your record for several years. For a police officer or a person whose profession requires they drive, a drunken driving conviction can cause them to lose their jobs and jeopardize their future job prospects.
There are number or reasons a driver should try to avoid a conviction, which is possible with the help of Rhode Island DUI attorney. Many people are charged with a DUI make the mistake believing they can handle their case without legal representation, mostly because of financial reasons, but they don’t have the knowledge necessary to prevent a conviction or negotiate for a lesser charge. An attorney will know if you have the opportunity to plea down your charges and appeal to the court for leniency so don’t try to deal with a DUI alone.