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.

 

The Biden administration is announcing over seven-billion dollars student loan forgiveness. The debt relief includes over five-billion dollars for those pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and about two-billion for students enrolled in income-driven repayment plans. The Biden administration has so far forgiven about 167-billion dollars in student aid.       Multiple tornado deaths are being reported in Iowa. The Iowa State Patrol says numerous fatalities have been confirmed in the town of Greenfield, but that the exact number isn't expected to be released until later today. Police say about a dozen other people were injured and that search efforts are ongoing.        Fulton County District Attorney Fani [[ Fahn-ee ]] Willis emerged victorious in her Georgia Democratic primary. Willis is handling the election interference case against former President Trump. The judge overseeing the Trump case, Scott McAfee, was also projected to win his race.        A new lawsuit accuses former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of using excessive force in the arrest of two individuals in 2020, months before he killed George Floyd while also trying to make an arrest. The lawsuit goes on to accuse a second officer of failure to intervene at the time. The police bodycam footage of the arrest was made public on Tuesday.        A hearing is set for today in Memphis on a claim by Elvis Presley's granddaughter that the upcoming foreclosure sale of Graceland is a fraudulent scheme. In a lawsuit filed this week, Riley Keough alleges that the creditor's paperwork on a three-point-eight-million-dollar loan to Graceland is fraudulent, and that the signatures are forged.        The Boston Celtics toppled the Indiana Pacers 133-128 in overtime in Game One of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Jayson Tatum led the charge with 36 points and 12 rebounds to help the Celtics take a 1-0 series lead. The two teams will return to the hardwood for Game Two on Thursday in Boston. The Western Conference Finals begin today with the Minnesota Timberwolves playing host to the Dallas Mavericks.