New blood alcohol testing unit unveiled in Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A new blood alcohol testing mobile unit was unveiled today in Providence.

The Providence Police and Fire Departments, Rhode Island Department of Transportation, and the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association all met at the Rhode Island Convention Center Friday afternoon to demonstrate how the new BAT (Blood Alcohol Testing) Mobile works.

The BAT Mobile Unit was purchased using a grant awarded to Providence police by RIDOT Office of Highway Safety.

The 40-foot long vehicle will be used in statewide initiatives aimed at reducing the number of impaired vehicle operators and raising DUI awareness throughout the state.

“Providence police and local police can use this as a resource. But again, we’re going to be out there, we’re going to arrest people,” said Col. Steven O’Donnell of the Rhode Island State Police.

RIDOT and Providence Fire Department personnel also presented three sets of Jaws of Life devices, to be used by the City of Providence and surrounding communities.

The BAT Mobile will be set up in areas where previous fatal and injury crashes have happened, as well as DUI arrests, officials said.

Annie Shalvey contributed to this report.

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