DUI Newport, RI

St. Patrick’s Day Weekend: Local Police to Intensify DUI Enforcement

In a joint effort, the Middletown Police Department, alongside the Newport Police Department, Portsmouth Police Department, and the Rhode Island State Police, is gearing up for an intensified traffic enforcement operation targeting individuals suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The campaign will be in effect from Friday, March 15th, through Sunday, March 17th.

St. Patrick’s Day weekend has historically presented a heightened risk on local roads due to increased alcohol consumption and the prevalence of drunk driving incidents. Alarming statistics reveal that between 2017 and 2021, there were 272 lives lost nationally in drunk-driving crashes during this holiday period. While drunk-driving fatalities tend to peak at night, the inherent danger persists at any hour.

The cherished annual Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade, slated for Saturday, March 16th, is a beloved local tradition that underscores the rich heritage of Newport. Unfortunately, some individuals attending the parade opt to drive under the influence, leading to arrests and, in some cases, tragic consequences. With St. Patrick’s Day itself falling on Sunday, March 17th, local law enforcement is taking proactive measures to avert potential tragedies on the roadways. Officials are urging the public to plan for safe transportation options, such as ride-sharing or designating a sober driver for the weekend festivities.

Law enforcement agencies will collaborate with neighboring jurisdictions and conduct tandem patrols to address motor vehicle violations, with a particular focus on drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The enforcement campaign will also incorporate the Providence Police Department’s Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile Unit, providing officers with a centralized location to process DUI arrests, including breathalyzer tests.

Members of the public are encouraged to plan their transportation ahead of time if they intend to consume alcohol, designate a sober driver, and report any suspected impaired or erratic drivers by calling 911. Authorities emphasize that the cost of a ride-sharing service is significantly lower than the expenses associated with a DUI arrest, not to mention the potential for tragic outcomes. As the community comes together to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, responsible choices and collective vigilance on the roadways will contribute to a safer and more enjoyable weekend for all.




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