Former RI senator in court on DUI charge

Former state Senator Steven Alves at his arraignment on DUI charge at Kent County Court.

LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) —  A former West Warwick state senator arrested last week on suspicion of drunk driving faced a judge Tuesday.

Steven Alves is accused of driving under the influence, when he drove into a tractor trailer on Route 146 north last Thursday. A third vehicle also crashed trying to avoid the collision.

Police say Alves failed field sobriety tests and refused to take a breathalyzer test. According to police, Alves told troopers at the crash scene that he had a few drinks but did not go overboard.

Alves, 56, is a former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and is now a State House lobbyist. The West Warwick Democrat lost his seat in 2008.

Alves pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and was released on $1,000 personal recognizance.

He is also due back in court again on Wednesday, to be arraigned on a charge of refusing to submit to a chemical test.

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