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PATCH: Rep. Rice Introduces Trio Of Impaired Driving Bills

One bill would make New York's Leandra's Law national, making it a felony across the country to drive drunk with a child in the car.

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Washington, June 7, 2021 | comments

GARDEN CITY, NY — Congresswoman Kathleen Rice has introduced a trio of bills in the House of Representatives that would help educate the public on the dangers of impaired and distracted driving, as well as bring New York's Leandra's Law nationwide.

Rice — whose fight against drunken driving goes back to her days as Nassau County's district attorney — introduced the three bills on June 1. The Drug-Impaired Driving Education Act would create a $10 million annual grant program for states to apply for to education the public on the dangers of drug-impaired driving. The Distracted Driving Education Act is similar, and would create a $5 million annual grant program for nonprofit organizations to use for education.

The Prevent Impaired Driving Child Endangerment Act would create national penalties for those who drive drunk or impaired with a child in the car. It is similar to New York's Leandra's Law, which makes it a felony to drive drunk with a child in the car.

"Preventing the thousands of unnecessary deaths that occur on our roadways each year is an issue near and dear to my heart," said Rice. "As district attorney, I saw far too many families suffer from the terrible tragedies that driving while distracted or under the influence can cause. That's why working to end impaired and distracted driving once and for all has become a centerpiece of my career. These three bills will help us get closer to that goal, and I will work tirelessly to build bipartisan support and get them passed through Congress."

According to Rice, the Drug-Impaired Driving Education Act has already earned bipartisan support and is co-led by Representative Troy Balderson, an Ohio Republican.

The bills have also earned the support of the National Safety Council, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, as well as many other groups.

by: Alex Costello, Patch Staff

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