PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association (RIPCA) is pleased to announce that it will be participating in Mothers Against Drunk Driving-Rhode Island’s annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which is taking place over the next month.
The goal of the campaign is to honor victims who have lost their lives, or who were tragically injured, due to impaired driving crashes.
The campaign began Friday, Dec. 18 and ends on Friday, Jan. 21. During this time MADD-RI will pair victim families with police officers who will conduct targeted DUI enforcement patrols in honor of a family’s lost loved one. Officers will have a zero-tolerance policy for anyone driving under the influence.
In 2018, 34% of fatal roadway crashes in Rhode Island involved an impaired driver. Additionally, this year alone, 73 people in Rhode Island have lost their lives as a result of roadway crashes.
Over 30 patrols will take place with the help of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s Office on Highway Safety and the following police departments:
Barrington Police; Bristol Police; Burrillville Police; Central Falls Police; Coventry Police; Cranston Police; Hopkinton Police; Narragansett Police; Newport Police; North Smithfield Police; Portsmouth Police; Providence Police; Rhode Island State Police; Tiverton Police; Warren Police; Warwick Police; Westerly Police; and Woonsocket Police.
“The national average for fatal crashes involving an impaired driver is 29% and unfortunately Rhode Island is well above this average,” said RIPCA Executive Director Sidney Wordell. “These crashes are 100% preventable and there is no excuse for getting behind the wheel while under the influence. By increasing these patrols, we hope to raise awareness on how impaired driving can affect families forever and encourage residents to only drive when sober. We thank MADD-RI for sponsoring this very meaningful campaign, and are grateful to be a participant in it.”
To ensure safety on roadways this holiday season, RIPCA recommends the following tips:
- Never drive if you have been drinking or are under the influence of drugs.
- Have a plan to get home safely. Assign yourself a designated driver, call a friend, or utilize a cab or rideshare service.
- Hosting a holiday celebration? Watch out for your family and friends, and if one of them is impaired and planning to drive, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get home safely.
- Include “mocktails” on your menu for designated drivers and those who do not drink alcoholic beverages.
- Only time can sober up an alcohol-impaired person. An impaired guest might need to stay in a guest room or utilize a sofa if unable to get home safely.
For more information on MADD-RI and their “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, click here.