Top places in RI for DUI arrests

May 7, 2012

Top places in RI for DUI arrests


WRITTEN BY: Dee DeQuattro | WPRO News

Updated: 5/7/2012 10:10:21 AM

After the notable drunk driving arrests of Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio and Congressman David Cicilline’s brother John Cicilline, Tara Granahan of the WPRO Morning News uncovered some statistics from the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office revealing the top places for DUI arrests.

Assistant Attorney General Jay Sullivan said the arrests really vary on the size of the police department, its level of funding and its location.

According to the statistics from 2010, the most DUI or chemical test refusal arrests are made by the RI State Police. The department made 449 arrests in 2010. Warwick is in second place for DUI and refusal arrests, and is the top city for DUI arrests, having made 328 in 2010. Woonsocket comes in third, trailing Warwick, with only 167 in 2010. Coventry takes the fourth place spot with 159 arrests in 2010 and Cranston is close behind with 148 DUI arrests. Notably absent from the top five list is the state’s capital city, Providence.

Bristol Police Department, where John  Cicilline was recently arrested, only had 75 DUI arrests in 2010 and Barrington where Senator Ruggerio was arrested, only had 27. Block Island and Scituate led the way with the fewest DUI arrests having only 5 each in 2010.

Gabbe Abbate from Rhode Island Mothers Against Drunk Driving said she is not surprised by the top five places for DUI arrests. She said that State Police’s main focus is highway safety so there is no surprise that they make so many arrests. She also said Warwick has placed a particular emphasis on keeping the streets safe by cracking down on drunk driving.

Abate said the bigger concern is how many people actually get away with driving under the influence. “The average drunk driver will drive 87 times before they ever get stopped,” Abbate told the WPRO Morning News with Tara Granahan and Andrew Gobeil. Abbate also noticed that Rhode Island has a high rate of people refusing to submit to the chemical test compared to people who do take the test and are charged with drunk driving.


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