Tonight, August 8, 2008 (08-08-08), .08 will not be a lucky number for motorists who drink and drive. Extra state and local patrols will be out in South County and on Aquidneck Island from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. to catch drunk drivers.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced this one day enforcement push at a press conference this morning in North Kingstown. RIDOT officials were joined by representatives from the Rhode Island State Police (RISP) and local law enforcement to remind motorists that a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 is the law in Rhode Island every day. Additional enforcement will continue statewide during the national DUI crackdown from August 15 through September 1, 2008.
“In Rhode Island, 52% of all motor vehicle crashes were alcohol-related, which is higher than both the regional and national average,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “That means that in 2006, we lost 81 lives on our highways, 42 of which were alcohol-related.”
Recognizing the problem we have with motorists who drive under the influence in our state, RIDOT recommends the following tips to help motorists be part of the solution:
• Plan a safe way home BEFORE the festivities begin;
• Before drinking, designate a sober driver and give that person your keys;
• If you’re impaired, use a taxi or call a sober friend or family member;
• If you spot a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to pull over to a safe location and call the Rhode Island State Police by dialing *77 or 911 on your cellular phone;
• Remember, if you know someone who is about to drive a car or ride a motorcycle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they need to be safely; and
• Finally, always wear your seatbelt. It is your best defense against a drunk driver.