DUI Newport, RI

Rhode Island Police Step Up Patrols to Combat Impaired Driving During July Fourth Week

The Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association is making a strong appeal to motorists: drive sober. With the Fourth of July holiday week upon us, extra patrols will be out in force to identify and arrest impaired drivers, the association announced today.

Law enforcement agencies across the state are set to amplify impaired driving prevention messages on social media throughout the week, encouraging residents to share these posts to remind friends and family to celebrate responsibly. The enhanced patrols, funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and supported by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Office of Highway Safety, will be active throughout the week.

“The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate, and we are asking Rhode Islanders to help us keep our roads safe by driving sober and reminding their friends and family to do the same,” said Colonel Bradford Connor, President of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association and Chief of Police for Warwick. “Our message is very simple: if you are planning to use alcohol or cannabis, do not drive. Across the state, there will be extra patrols out looking for impaired drivers.”

Connor stressed the importance of planning ahead for a safe return home, whether attending large events in Bristol or Providence or small gatherings at the beach. “Your responsibility is the same, and you need to make a plan to get home safely: designate a driver, use a ride-share service, or stay where you are. If you drive impaired, you are risking your life and the lives of others on the road,” he added.

According to NHTSA data, between 2018 and 2022, 2,228 people died in motor vehicle crashes during the July Fourth holiday period, with 39% of those fatalities involving drunk drivers. In 2022 alone, 487 people lost their lives in traffic crashes during the holiday, and 40% of those deaths were due to drunk driving.

The Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association’s campaign aims to prevent such tragedies by ensuring that every Rhode Islander makes the smart choice to drive sober this holiday week.




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