Driving to Endanger

Rhode Island law establishes three tiers of penalties for driving to endanger.  The penalty faced will depend on whether the driving to endanger results in physical injury, serious personal injury, or death.  Under all three circumstances, driving to endanger is defined as “reckless disregard for the safety of others”.  For example, a violation of Rhode Island General Laws 31-27-22, the law prohibiting drag racing, could also result in a charge of driving to endanger should injury occur.

For a violation of Rhode Island General Law 31-27-1, driving so as to endanger - resulting in death - the defendant faces up to ten (10) years in prison and a license suspension of up to five (5) years.

If the driving to endanger results in “serious bodily injury”, defined as “physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ”, the person charged is facing up to five (5) years in prison and a license suspension of up to three (3) years.

Finally, driving to endanger causing physical injury (as distinguished from “serious bodily injury” above), can result in a sentence of up to two (2) years in prison and one (1) year license suspension.