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.

 

Closing arguments have ended in Donald Trump's criminal hush money case. The judge will give the New York jury his instructions tomorrow morning before they begin deliberations. Trump is charged with falsifying records before the 2016 election to hide payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He is the first American president to stand trial in a criminal case.        Over one-million people are without power in Texas. Heavy storms are pounding the state today, leading to a ground-stop at Houston's Airport. The system dropped baseball-sized hail on parts of North Texas, including Dallas. Dallas County has issued a disaster declaration. Meanwhile, at least 23 people are dead after severe weather slammed the nation's midsection, including Texas, over the Memorial Day weekend.       The U.S. military is working to repair a temporary pier used to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. Defense Department spokesperson Sabrina Singh told reporters today it will take about a week to fix the pier. The pier broke apart over the weekend due to rough seas and will be towed to Israel for repairs.        At least seven people are injured, with another two missing after an explosion in Youngstown, Ohio. The explosion took place at a downtown bank building. Officials in the area say they are concerned about the structural integrity of the building. The Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency said in a statement that natural gas was involved.       Emergency crews are responding to a military aircraft crash in New Mexico. Officials say the crash occurred near the Albuquerque International Sunport on Tuesday afternoon. The plane went down outside of the airfield on the south side of the airport. The pilot is reportedly conscious and has been taken to the hospital for treatment.        Music fans will finally get a chance to hear a fabled album from the Wu-Tang Clan. The world's only copy of the hip-hop group's 2015 album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" will go on display at the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, Australia next month. Former Pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli bought the the album for two-million-dollars at a 2015 auction and it was later sold to an art collective in 2021.