The Police Departments of Newport County, in conjunction with the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association, on Thursday announced that all of the Police Departments in Newport County will be conducting enhanced DUI patrols this coming weekend.
The campaign will begin on Friday, Sept. 3, and continue through Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 6. Those departments participating will be the Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth, Jamestown, Tiverton, and Little Compton Police Departments, in cooperation with RIPCA and the Rhode Island Office on Highway Safety.
According to National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHSTA) statistics, during the 2019 Labor Day Weekend there were 451 traffic-related fatalities across the United States. Of those fatalities, 45% involved a driver who had been driving under the influence. The goal of this campaign is to educate the public on the dangers of driving under the influence and to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes attributed to impaired drivers.
All Newport County Police Departments will work in collaboration, with some departments teaming up officers throughout the holiday weekend and performing saturation patrols in an effort to detect impaired drivers.
In addition, this DUI initiative will utilize the Providence Police Department’s Breath Alcohol Testing (B.A.T.) Mobile Unit. The B.A.T. Mobile allows officers to have a centralized location to process all DUI arrests, which includes the administering of breathalyzer tests. Departments will also have trained Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) on hand to further evaluate drivers who may be operating while under the influence of a controlled substance other than alcohol.
“Newport County Police Departments will have a strong presence on all roads between Sept. 3 and 6,” said Middletown Police Chief William Kewer in a statement. “We encourage members of the public to call 911 from their cell phone if they observe aggressive or erratic drivers. We would also like to wish residents a happy Labor Day, and hope they have an enjoyable and safe holiday weekend.”