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Drunk driver allegedly crashes into DUI cruiser

A Rhode Island man allegedly crashed into a police cruiser that was patrolling for drunk drivers. According to, the Smithfield officer was part of Operation Rhode Island Blue Riptide, a group of law enforcement agencies working to decrease the number of drunk driving instances in the state.

The officer was on the side of the road on Douglas Pike sitting in his cruiser writing a ticket to a different motorist when he was struck by the allegedly drunk driver. His emergency lights were flashing when the cruiser was hit from behind by the other vehicle. Both vehicles sustained damage. The driver was unharmed in the crash, and the officer was treated for minor injuries. In addition to a DUI, the driver was cited with a number of other violations, including having expired vehicle registration, lacking car insurance, and refusing both a breathalyzer and a blood alcohol test. 

According to FindLaw, Rhode Island penalizes those who refuse chemical tests that check for alcohol in the blood. Anyone convicted of a DUI is likely to have their license suspended, but people who refuse testing have a longer suspension. There are fines, probation and sometimes even jail time resulting from a DUI conviction. There is also the possibility that an ignition interlock device will be required in an offender;s vehicle, which prevents the car from starting if a breathalyzer detects any traces of alcohol in the driver's system. Sentencing often relates to a person's blood-alcohol content, and although a BAC of between .08 and .10 is a misdemeanor, it can still come with up to a year in jail. For those under the legal drinking age caught with alcohol in their systems while behind the wheel, the BAC limit is .02.

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