REP. ROBERT NARDOLILLO III WILL INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO MAKE DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS WITH A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF THIRTEEN IN THE VEHICLE A FELONY OFFENSE.
STATE HOUSE- Rep. Robert Nardolillo III (District 28 – Coventry) announced on January 9, 2017, that he will be introducing legislation to make driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child under the age of thirteen in the vehicle a felony offense. This legislation will coincide with a bill introduced in the Senate by Sen. Maryellen Goodwin.
Rhode Island has seen a significant rise in the number of fatalities on the road and of these about half can be attributed to driving under the influence. There have also been a number of DUI cases which show children as young as two years old present in the car at the time of arrest. Some shocking examples include a man who was arrested in December with a blood alcohol level of nearly three times the legal limit and a nine-year-old girl in the back seat. Others include a woman involved in a crash on Route 1 with her four-year-old son in the car and a man who was stopped while driving drunk with five children between ages two and sixteen present.
“These children are innocent bystanders caught up in the destructive decisions made by their parents and caregivers. There needs to be more serious consequences than a simple misdemeanor” said Rep. Nardolillo. “This legislation would send a clear message that if you endanger the life of a child because of your choices there will be repercussions”.