- Associated Press - Thursday, January 7, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Leaving a young child alone in a car could lead to punishment in Rhode Island if the General Assembly passes a bill introduced this week.

State Sen. Leonidas Raptakis said he introduced the bill because current state law is harsher on people who leave dogs and cats unattended than it is on parents who leave a child in extreme temperatures.

The Coventry Democrat’s bill would impose a fine of up to $1,000 and take away a driver’s license for up to three years if a parent or guardian leaves a child younger than 7 alone in a vehicle.

Police on Tuesday in nearby Wrentham, Massachusetts, arrested a Rhode Island woman for leaving her 8-month-old child in the car in a shopping mall parking lot during freezing weather.

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