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5/23/2023 MEDIA ADVISORY: Sens. Raptakis, Sosnowski and Rep. Serpa to hold press conference on drunk driving legislation
On the eve of Memorial Day weekend, several of the bills will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee after Thursday’s Senate session
STATE HOUSE – Sens. Leonidas P. Raptakis and V. Susan Sosnowski and Rep. Patricia A. Serpa will be holding a press conference on Thursday, May 25 at 3 p.m. in Room 313 of the State House to call attention to several bills that strengthen the penalties for drunk, impaired and reckless driving offenses.
The legislators will also be joined by Sens. John P. Burke (D-Dist. 9, West Warwick) and David P. Tikoian (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, Lincoln, North Providence), Rep. Thomas E. Noret (D-Dist. 25, Coventry, West Warwick), representatives from the Attorney General’s office and the Department of Transportation, Gabe Abbate, RI Highway Safety Chief, Wesley Pennington, Program Director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving RI, Chief Sid Wordell, RI Police Chiefs Association, as well as several parents of victims of drunk driving, including Kathy Andreozzi, Founder of Tori Lynn Andreozzi Foundation, and Kristine Bouthiller, representing the Dennison Family of West Warwick.
Later in the day, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on the following bills highlighted at the press conference:
  • 2023-S 0118, introduced by Senator Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, West Greenwich), would increase the sentences, fines or both for driving so as to endanger, resulting in death or personal injury.  Representative Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry) has introduced the bill (2023-H 5213) in the House.
  • 2023-S 0119, introduced by Senator Raptakis, 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 from five years to ten years.  Representative Serpa introduced the bill (2023-H 5216) in the House.
  • 2023-S 0332, introduced by Senator Raptakis, would increase the penalty for anyone found guilty of eluding a police vehicle in high speed pursuit to a felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment, a fine of between five thousand and ten thousand dollars, a loss of license from one to two years and a possible forfeiture their motor vehicle.
  • 2023-S 0737, sponsored by Senator Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown), would provide for a single, increased range of penalties for all driving offenses which result in serious bodily injury or death.  Representative Serpa introduced the bill (2023-H 6028) in the House.
  • 2023-S 0899, sponsored by Senator Sosnowski, would clarify and separate the different criminal penalties for first and subsequent convictions for reckless driving.  Representative Noret introduced the bill (2023-H 5890) in the House.
  • 2023-S 0331, sponsored by Senator Burke, would increase the penalties for a first offense of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death to a minimum five years in incarceration, a minimum of $10,000 and a minimum license revocation of five years.  Representative Noret introduced the bill (2023-H 5699) in the House.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903