Rhode Island law enforcement pushes for safe, sober Memorial Day weekend

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Over the holiday weekend, officials urge Rhode Islanders to designate a driver or use ride-sharing services such as Uber, Lyft or a taxi to get home safely.

Drinking and driving was the focus of a collaborative news conference of state police, the Rhode Island DMV, and RIDOT Thursday morning.

The conference came just before the unofficial start to the summer season, Memorial Day weekend. Officials stressed the importance of preventing drinking and driving this holiday weekend. Police are expecting a busy weekend for violations.

“The Rhode Island State Police and local police practice zero tolerance for drunk and impaired drivers,” said Col. Ann C. Assumpico, superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police. ” When drivers are found to be impaired we arrest them.”

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 28 people die every day in an alcohol-related crash in the United States. As summer months approach, this figure can nearly double.

Historically, Rhode Island has some of the worst statistics for drunk driving in Rhode Island.

RIDOT said it has invested $3 million this year in a 10-year plan aimed at decreasing drunk driving across the state.