Most Americans may not realize it, but the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes. That is why this Fourth of July, the Rhode Island State Police is stepping up enforcement efforts as part of the on-going "DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER" enforcement crackdown to catch and arrest impaired drivers who put themselves and others at risk.
Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, is announcing today that during the upcoming July 4th holiday period, the Rhode Island State Police, through funding obtained by the Department of Transportation Office on Highway Safety, will have additional patrols targeting speeders, aggressive drivers, seat belt violators, violations of the move over law and especially impaired drivers to support the C.A.R.E. enforcement campaign.
In addition to the above mentioned increase in patrols, troopers will be working with the Bristol Police Department and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to ensure a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July Holiday for all citizens attending the fireworks and parade in Bristol. The State Police Marine Unit will be patrolling the waters looking for boats being operated by reckless or impaired drivers.
Troopers will also have an increased presence on Block Island to assist the New Shoreham Police Department with the expected influx of visitors on the Fourth of July. State laws and town ordinances will be strictly enforced, particularly those involving open containers and other alcohol related violations.
Colonel O'Donnell is urging all motorists to help reduce injuries and the tragic loss of lives on our highways by: • Planning ahead; designate a sober driver before going out and give your keys to that person. • If you are impaired, call a taxi or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely. • Immediately report impaired drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 911 or *77 on your cell phone. • Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their safety belt; it is your best defense against an impaired or distracted driver. • If celebrating the holiday on the water, ensure everyone is wearing an approved life jacket and don't operate a vessel while drinking.
Please help the Rhode Island State Police in making this a safe and enjoyable weekend for all Rhode Island citizens and our out-of-state visitors.
Colonel O'Donnell stated: "The Rhode Island State Police hopes everyone enjoys the holiday and celebrates responsibly. We will deploy extra patrols throughout the state and ask you to dial *77 if you see someone operating that may be impaired or reckless. The life you save may be your own or a loved one."
MEDIA CONTACT: Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Winquist, Deputy Superintendent, (401) 444-1002