Rhode Island has a lot going for it. From its stunning gilded age mansions to the magnificent coastline, it’s a beautiful state. It’s also a state that’s taking a step in the right direction as far as their drunk drivers because Rhode Island will become the 28th state to require ignition interlocks for all offenders.
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo will soon sign a new law that requires anyone convicted of their first driving under the influence (DUI) charge to install an ignition interlock in any car he or she drives. Right now Rhode Island DUI law only requires ignition interlocks upon judge order, and they’re only ordered for repeat offenders or anyone who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher.
Rhode Island has the jump on other states with pending bills for ignition interlocks. California has a bill on the table after seeing positive results with a four county ignition interlock pilot program. Washington State has a bill pending, and so does Oregon and Ohio.
This is a law that can’t come a moment too soon for Rhode Island. Drunk drivers seem to be out in full force in the state. Take a recent Sheriff’s van crash for example: a drunk driver faces charges for DUI, assault and battery with dangerous weapon, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle after she crashed into the van while it sat in a construction zone. The crash was so violent that airbags deployed in the officer’s face.
Roads aren’t the only dangerous spots in Rhode Island. A teen was found passed out in a boat that was drifting in Newport. He was charged with DUI and taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
These are just two recent cases of drunk drivers in Rhode Island recently. Hopefully once the new law is signed, it works to make drivers think twice before they get behind any kind of wheel while drunk.