PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The executive director of the local Mothers Against Drunk Driving group said, in her 25 years with the organization, she had never seen a case quite like this one.
Two men, John Willette, Jr. and Luke Peters, were each arrested for driving under the influence earlier this week. What makes their arrests rare, though, is that they were in the same car. Willette, police allege, was driving drunk. Peters, they say, grabbed the wheel from the passenger side and forced the car off the road – an action police say constitutes “driving.”
Two 16-year-old girls were in the car at the time of the crash, and one was critically injured. The injured passenger is still in serious condition in the hospital.
“I’ve been with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for over 25 years now,” MADD Rhode Island Executive Director Gaby Abbate said. “I’ve never heard it done before.”
Even though the arrests may be without precedent, Abbate said she – and her organization – fully support the decision.
“We’re really supportive of something like this,” she said. “I’m sure that they were at a loss of what to do when the backseat driver actually did have control of the vehicle.”