Sens. Raptakis, Tikoian and Rep. Serpa call for passage of drunken driving legislation


            STATE HOUSE – Sens. Leonidas P. Raptakis and David P. Tikoian and Rep. Patricia A. Serpa are calling for the passage of several bills that strengthen the penalties for drunken, impaired and reckless driving offenses. Senators Raptakis and Tikoian and Representative Serpa note the increase in drunken driving arrests over the past several months, including nine arrests by the State Police over the holiday weekend, with many also causing serious injury and death.

            “Just over this past week, there was a drunken wrong-way driver on the highway and several other notable and serious crashes involving drunken drivers, including a fatality in Woonsocket. Enough is enough. These bills need to be passed in order to protect our residents on the road. We are urging our colleagues to support these bills so that the governor can sign them into law and we can hold these selfish and dangerous drunken drivers accountable before they get behind the wheel and cause serious damage to our friends and loved ones,” said Senator Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, West Greenwich), Senator Tikoian (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Providence, Lincoln) and Representative Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry).           

            The legislators are calling for the passage of legislation (2024-H 7630, 2024-S 2024), sponsored by Representative Serpa and Senator Tikoian that would provide for a single, increased range of penalties for all driving offenses that result in serious bodily injury or death. They are also calling for the passage of legislation (2024-H 7631, 2024-S 2023) sponsored by Representative Serpa and Senator Raptakis that would extend the “lookback” period for repeat offenses involving driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and for repeat offenses related to failure or refusal to submit to chemical tests under from five to 10 years.