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Diageo Praises Rhode Island Lawmakers Working To Protect Children From Drunk Or Drugged Drivers

NORWALK, Conn., April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Diageo, the world's leading spirits, wine and beer company and industry leader in promoting responsible drinking, applauds the Rhode Island Senate for passing legislation to stiffen penalties for adults who drive under the influence with a child in the car.  The bill will now move to the House of Representatives and Diageo encourages the House to pass it.

Currently in Rhode Island, the maximum sentence for those convicted of DUI with a child under 13 in the car is one year in prison.  Senate bill 2013-S 592, sponsored by Senator Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence), would make the crime a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.  Convicted adults would also face a fine of up to $5,000 and a potential additional "highway assessment" fine of up to $500, have their license suspended for up to two years and be required to attend a course for DUI offenders and an alcohol or drug education or treatment program.  Furthermore, the driver's license would be suspended immediately until after the case is decided.

"Passing this bill is an important step in Rhode Island's fight against driving under the influence, and we applaud Senator Goodwin and her supporters for their efforts," said Dwayne Kratt, Senior Director of State Government Relations, Diageo North America.  "Across the country, DUI-related deaths have gone down significantly over the past several years. But even one death is too many, and this proposal will make drivers think twice before putting children at risk after they've been drinking or taking drugs."

Rep. Robert E. Craven (D-Dist. 32, North Kingstown) is sponsoring similar legislation (2013-H 5666) in the House of Representatives.  A vote is anticipated on this bill later this session.

About Diageo

Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Windsor, Buchanan's and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray, Guinness, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards Wines.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

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