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How Do You Prove the Police Used Entrapment to Pull You Over For a DUI?

Understanding Rhode Island’s Entrapment Laws and When Can You Use it as a DUI Defense

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense resulting in over 10,000 deadly accidents each year. To combat drunk and drugged driving, police employ various tactics to identify and apprehend individuals who operate vehicles while impaired. However, the line between legitimate law enforcement and entrapment can sometimes become blurred. While law enforcement agencies have a duty to uphold public safety and enforce DUI laws, they must do so within the bounds of the law.


In this blog, Rhode Island DUI Attorney Ann Sheeley explains what qualifies as DUI entrapment and when it can be used as a defense strategy. Remember, you have rights under both Rhode Island and federal law that need to be protected. If you have specific questions about a DUI charge, please contact Sheeley Law for a free consultation. 

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What is Entrapment?

Entrapment occurs when law enforcement officers induce or coerce an individual into committing a crime that they would not have otherwise committed. As it relates to DUI cases, entrapment might involve coercive measures, such as pressuring an individual to consume alcohol or engaging in conduct that leads to impaired driving. It is crucial to distinguish between entrapment and lawful investigative techniques. Officers are allowed to employ certain tactics to uncover criminal activities, but there are limits to what is considered legal and acceptable.


What Are Rhode Island’s Entrapment Laws?

In Rhode Island, entrapment is a valid defense when the defendant can prove that an officer of the law engaged in conduct that caused a person to commit a crime they would not have otherwise committed. If a court finds that entrapment occurred, the charges may be dismissed. However, the burden of proof rests with the accused, and successfully establishing entrapment can be challenging, especially without strong legal representation from a reputable DUI law firm, such as Sheeley Law.


How Do You Prove the Police Used Entrapment to Pull You Over and Arrest You for a DUI?

In order to prove entrapment, Rhode Island courts will typically employ a two-part test:

  1. Inducement by Law Enforcement: The defendant must show that law enforcement officers used inducement, coercion, persuasion, or other improper tactics to encourage the driver to commit the DUI offense. This may involve situations where officers pressure individuals to drink alcohol or drive under the influence, essentially meaningfully to engage in behavior they would not have otherwise undertaken.

  2. Lack of Predisposition: The accused must demonstrate that they lacked predisposition or intent to commit the DUI offense before the inducement by law enforcement occurred. If the defendant had a pre-existing inclination to commit the crime, the defense of entrapment may not be valid.


Common Scenarios That Could Be Considered Entrapment:

DUI entrapment cases in Rhode Island hinge on whether law enforcement crossed the line between routine enforcement and actions that induce individuals to commit crimes they wouldn't otherwise commit. Below are a few examples of what could constitute entrapment in the eyes of the law:

  • Excessive Pressure: If law enforcement officials use excessive pressure, coercion, or threats to compel someone to drive under the influence, it might be considered entrapment.

  • Providing Alcohol: If law enforcement actively encourages or provides alcohol to an individual with the intention of later charging them with DUI, it could be viewed as entrapment.

  • False Representation: If officers misrepresent themselves or use deceptive tactics to create a situation where a person drives under the influence, it might be considered entrapment.


What Should You Do If You Believe You Were a Victim of Entrapment?


Preventing DUIs is a priority and important for everyone’s safety, but ensuring that the police follow the law and do not violate an individual’s rights is also important. If you are questioning the legitimacy of your DUI arrest and believe that you were a victim of entrapment, contact Sheeley Law.  Attorney Ann Sheeley will thoroughly review the events leading to your arrest, determine the viability of an entrapment defense or other defense strategies, and guide you throughout the legal process, all while protecting your rights.

Please call 401-619-5555 or email










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