Hiram College

State Senator Timothy Grendell, sponsor of legislation to enact stricter penalties regarding drunken driving, will keynote the symposium that was created after the tragic deaths of Grace Chamberlain and Andy Hopkins.

Ohio Senator Timothy Grendell, who co-sponsored legislation to enact stricter penalties on drunk drivers, will present the keynote speech at the Chamberlain/Hopkins Symposium on Alcohol and Culture at Hiram College on Thursday, February 28 at 12:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Ballroom.

Grendell was elected to the State House of Representatives in 2000. While there, he served on key House committees including the Criminal Justice, Civil and Commercial Law, and Judiciary Committees. Mr. Grendell was re-elected to the House in 2002, and elected to his current position as a State Senator in 2004. He serves as the chairman of the Senate’s Judiciary-Criminal Justice Committee.

Grendell co-sponsored Senate Bill No. 17, developed to enact stricter penalties regarding impaired vehicle operation. Specifically, it targets repeat offenders by enforcing compliance with federal penalties, amends wrongful entrustment issues, closes the loophole for test refusal by lengthening administrative penalty, and puts together a register of repeat offenders. This bill was developed as a direct result of the accident in March, 2006 that killed Hiram College students Grace Chamberlain and Andy Hopkins and severely injured Evan DaSilva. Their auto was struck near Burton, Ohio, by an admittedly intoxicated James L. Cline. Cline had 11 prior drunken driving convictions. He received the maximum sentence of 38 years in prison.

On February 29, the Chamberlain/Hopkins Symposium will feature the most realistic drunk driving simulation in the world. The national “Save a Life” tour stops in Hiram for the second day of the symposium. The drunken driving simulation provides a state-of-the-art, interactive driving experience that simulates driving under the influence of alcohol. Participants experience this while sober to recognize the influence of alcohol on driving skills.

The Hiram College community organized the annual Chamberlain/Hopkins Symposium to explore issues of alcohol in American culture.