Rhode Island Gets Low Marks for Drunk Driving Laws

8/16/2005

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has ranked Rhode Island
last in the nation for its laws against drunk driving, the Providence
Journal (http://www.projo.com) reported Aug. 15.

The nation’s smallest state was rated “poor” based on a ranking that
judged states based on their adoption of certain model laws, including
penalties for refusing to take a blood-alcohol test and allowing roadside
sobriety checks. Rhode Island was faulted for failing to pass either of
those laws, which the Institute contends have been proven to reduce drunk
driving.

See Report:
http://www.hwysafety.org/safety%5Ffacts/state%5Flaws/measure%5Fup.htm

The president of the state chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving
called Rhode Island’s DWI laws “an embarrassment,” and blamed the state
legislature for failing to take stronger action. Bernard Frezza,
legislative liaison for the state Department of Transportation, said,
“There’s definitely room for improvement. We’ve tried to move in the same
direction” as the insurance institute recommends.

Rhode Island had the nation’s highest proportion of alcohol-related
fatalities in 2003, as well as in 2002 and 2001.

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