MADD, area police departments, begin holiday campaign

Lt. Michael Rosa of the Rhode Island State Police speaks at an event launching this year's Tie One On For Safety campaign. (Brian Yocono/WPRI)

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Local police and Mothers Against Drunk Driving kicked off their annual holiday safety campaign Saturday.

MADD’s Tie One On For Safety campaign has run nationally for 35 years and encourages people to display a ribbon on their vehicles to recognize the importance of designating sober drives during the holidays.

Saturday afternoon, MADD and representatives from area police departments gathered to speak about the program’s importance.

Among the speakers at the event was Chief Brian Sullivan of the Lincoln Police Department, who also serves as the President of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association. Sullivan cited a recent poll regarding alcohol use which showed that many adults nationwide are unaware of the legal blood-alcohol level limit in their state.

“If you don’t have an alternative plan if you go out drinking, if you don’t have an alternative plan to get home during the holiday season, the police department or the men and women in law enforcement are 100% certain that we have alternative transportation for you if you’re driving impaired,” Sullivan said.

According to the Rhode Island State Police, fatal accidents on Rhode Island highways are down 8% from this time last year. Extra patrols will be on the lookout for impaired drivers during this holiday season.

Anyone who sees an impaired or distracted driver can dial *77 on their cell phones to be connected to the nearest State Police barracks, which Lt. Michael Rosa of the State Police encouraged drivers to do.

“In my 23 years in law enforcement, it is truly an asset and a resource to us. It’s like having additional eyes on the highway looking for impaired drivers, so please continue to call us. It helps us meet our mission to create safer roadways for the motoring public.”

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