Legislation Closing Underage Drunken-Driving Loophole Approved - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Legislation closing underage drunken-driving loophole approved

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Olivia Cianci

News@abc6.com

Legislation that closes a loophole for underage drunken-driving has been approved by the General Assembly. Formally, drivers under the age of 21 with a BA content of less than .1% could avoid criminal charges, even though the current legal limit is .08%.

This loophole goes back to 2003 when the legal BA limit was changed from .1% to .08%.     

The bill is relevant to the statute meant to punish underage drivers who had been drinking, but were not necessarily over the legal limit. Punishments may include fines, license suspension, community service, etc, but no criminal charges. The change in BA content allowed a loophole for driver's ages 18 to 20 years old.

Senator DiPalma said that the legislation "restores this chapter's intent, which was always to discourage people who shouldn't be drinking at all from driving where they have been".

 No longer will drivers in the 2 year gap be able to escape penalty.

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