Rep. Canario introduces bill to impose $300 for DUI conviction

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) has introduced legislation (2019-H 5293) that would impose a $300 substance abuse education assessment for any conviction of driving under the influence or refusal to submit to a breathalyzer.

In a major win for consumers, the General Assembly recently passed legislation (2018-H 7443, 2018-S 2607) that distinguishes penalties for licensed contractors, who fail to comply with Contractors’ Registration and License Board (CRLB) orders. 

“As a retired police officer, I have seen the devastation that substance abuse causes countless times, especially in regard to driving while under the influence.  I have also seen the positive effects that substance abuse education and prevention programs can have so I feel that linking funding for substance abuse programs with DUI convictions is a logical and proper course of action to take to combat substance abuse,” said Representative Canario.

The funds collected through the assessment would be allocated to the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals to be used to fund substance abuse prevention programs and student assistance programs.

Sen. James A. Seveney (D-Dist. 11, Portsmouth, Bristol, Tiverton) has submitted the companion legislation (2019-S 0238) in the Senate.

Representative Canario’s bill has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.

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