Digging Deeper: Recent rash of drunken driving arrests - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Digging Deeper: Recent rash of drunken driving arrests

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Rhode Island State Police say this past weekend was riddled with crashes that were caused by drunken drivers.

The victims included everyone from a Lincoln police officer helping another driver to children.

Early Saturday morning in Exeter, the driver of a truck rolled his vehicle with his 7-year-old son in the back seat. Shawn Pino, 40, was arrested on suspicion of DUI. His son was treated for minor injuries at Hasbro Children's Hospital and discharged.

Police said Roberto Garcia had three small children in his car when he was charged with drunken driving. On Monday, Garcia pled no contest to the charges.

State police and the Rhode Island chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving have teamed up to strengthen the state's drunken driving laws.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee introduced a bill that would make driving drunk with a child 13 years old or younger a felony.

If the bill is passed, those charged with drunken driving with a child would immediately have their license suspended. If found guilty, offenders could face five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

But O'Donnell said even with legislation they'll still need citizens to keep calling in when they see an impaired driver.

O'Donnell said he hopes continued citizen reporting, and stiffer laws can move Rhode Island closer to reducing its drunken driving problem.

To report an impaired driver, call 911 or *77.

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