This morning during a press event in Warwick, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) reminded motorists that State and local law enforcement agencies will be stopping and arresting drunk drivers as part of an aggressive You Drink & Drive. You Lose. statewide enforcement effort.
Joined by members of the State and local law enforcement community and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), RIDOT also used the opportunity to showcase another tool in the enforcement community’s arsensal: Variable Message Signs (VMS’s).
“With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, we want to make sure revelers aren’t taking the party to the roadways, putting trick-or-treaters and responsible motorists at risk,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Law enforcement officers across the State will be watching for impaired drivers and making sure they are detected and arrested.”
The new VMS’s will be deployed for Halloween night flashing the, “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” message to make the public more aware that drunk driving laws will be strictly enforced. VMS’s are promoted by NHTSA as a way for police to make enforcement more highly visible. Purchase of these 38 signs was funded by RIDOT’s Office on Highway Safety in conjunction with the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association through a grant from NHTSA.
“We are glad to partner with RIDOT in this effort to increase visibility and stop drunk drivers,” said Pawtucket Police Chief George Kelley, who also serves as President of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association.
The statewide You Drink & Drive. You Lose. campaign is organized by RIDOT’s Office on Highway Safety and is focused on high-visibility enforcement and heightened public awareness. Drunk driving is a leading cause of fatal crashes in Rhode Island, with 25 lives lost last year alone in crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with an illegal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
Contact: Heidi Cote (401) 222-1362 x. 4009