Rhode Island House OKs drunken driving bill

| 3/18/2003

Rhode Island is nearing passage of a tougher drunken-driving standard that would make it a crime to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent.

H5452 unanimously passed the House of Representatives March 13. Within the hour, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an identical bill – S249 – which faces almost certain passage when it reaches the floor, The Providence Journal reported.

Gov. Donald Carcieri is expected to sign the proposal into law; it would take effect immediately.

The state is under a federal mandate to toughen its penalties or face the loss of more than $17 million in highway funds, according to the newspaper.

The House bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.