The chief of law enforcement in North Providence, Rhode Island, has made the policing of driving under the influence a high priority for the department since assuming the office in 2017. On a yearly basis, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation Office of Highway Safety gives the department $4,000, but this year its enhanced efforts at DUI enforcement earned it another $2,000 in grant money.
The department chief credits the grant funding with the increase in DUI arrests the department has made between 2018 and 2019. As of Sept. 30th, 2019, the department had made 63 drunk driving arrests within the city, which is more than the 42 it had made at the same time last year and is approaching the total number of 2018 arrests, which was 73.
The law enforcement chief suggests that the funding may not be the officers’ only motivation to make more arrests. An accident occurred in January in which an alleged impaired driver reportedly crashed head-on into one of their own officers. Regardless of the motive behind it, however, the chief describes the officers signing up for enforcement details, even if it involves working overtime.
Some of the arrests occur following 911 calls alerting law enforcement to the presence of a driver on the roads who may be under the influence. Sometimes the reports involve a running vehicle parked in a parking lot with the driver behind the wheel, apparently passed out. Other times the officers make arrests on the basis of their own observations while on patrol. In any case, the drivers affected may find it worthwhile to contact an attorney for assistance.