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DUI patrols hit Warren’s waterways

Warren Prevention Coalition will pay for officers to ride along with harbormasters, search for impaired boaters.

By Ted Hayes
Posted 7/23/20

DUIs don’t just happen on the road, and the Warren Harbormaster, police department and Warren Prevention Coalition are teaming up to watch out for impaired boaters on Warren’s rivers and …

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Please support local news coverage –

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DUI patrols hit Warren’s waterways

Warren Prevention Coalition will pay for officers to ride along with harbormasters, search for impaired boaters.

Posted

DUIs don’t just happen on the road, and the Warren Harbormaster, police department and Warren Prevention Coalition are teaming up to watch out for impaired boaters on Warren’s rivers and waterways.

Starting this weekend, Harbormaster officials and two detailed police officers will begin random patrols on the Harbormaster patrol boat, looking for signs of boaters who have had too much to drink. Officers Kristin Beaulieu and Joel Morrissette will represent the police department and will be joined by harbormasters, and patrols will run from the Warren River and out into the Kickemuit as well.

“The patrols will be out on the water all weekend” and into the future, Harbormaster Ed Cabral said.

Though harbormaster’s officials can look for, board and call in vessels whose operators are suspected of being impaired, they cannot make arrests. Police officers can, and Mr. Cabral said it should make patrols very effective. With Aquapalooza, a raucous boating festival going on this weekend in Potter’s Cove on Prudence Island, “we figured Saturday would be a good day to have a patrol out here,” Mr. Cabral. Future patrols will be at random.

The patrols are made possible by a donation from the Warren Prevention Coalition, which will pay for officer detail pay, as well as fuel and other expenses, out of two grants the coalition recently received.

Program Director Ann Marie Roy, who is working with program coordinator Maria Ursini to get the program running, said it made sense to work with the harbormaster and police department, as much of the grant funds her organization received are earmarked for drug and alcohol prevention measures.

“With the pandemic alcohol use is on the rise,” she said Tuesday. “One of the biggest things for us is we’ve noticed more people are out on the water. We thought, why don’t we just try to be creative and do something on DUI” on the water. So we reached out.”

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