Liz Burke, WPRO News
State Police have their own New Years Resolution this year, “365 days of safety”. The program dedicated to ensuring the roadways are safe for everyone.
“Today law enforcement in Rhode Island is stressing zero tolerance. What does that mean? Every single day, State Police, local police have zero tolerance related to drunk drivers. Someone gets stopped and their drunk, they’re going to get arrested,” said Colonel Steven O’Donnell.
Colonel O’Donnell says they’re enhancing the program by using over time funds from the department of transportation to put extra patrols to look out for drunk drivers.
“We have troopers and local policemen on a daily basis out doing patrol functions and part of that function is DUI enforcement, but it’s just a piece. These are dedicated patrols just looking for drunks. And if we have to arrest them, then we’ll arrest them. But we’d like to get the message out, don’t do it,” said Colonel O’Donnell
Police say they too many lives are lost and too many people affected by drunken drivers. Cathy Andreozzi is one of the many affected. Her daughter Tori Lynn was struck by a drunk driver 10 years ago. She now suffers from a debilitating brain injury and is now unable to take care of herself. Despite all of this, she tries to remain optimistic.
“We are certainly one of the fortunate families; we will always count our blessings. Life is difficult, it’s unpredictable and there’s a lot of uncertainty about life, but it is life,” said Andreozzi.
She says the message against drunk driver is so important and she will continue to work hard to get it across.
“I don’t care if it’s a crowd of a hundred, if two people get it, it’s worth it. It’s worth putting yourself out there and it’s worth putting yourself through the pain. The pain is going to be there no matter what so you might as well use it for some positive energy,” said Andreozzi.
(Below RIDOT video against drunk driving)