Greater drunk driving reaction

Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2005

10/05/05 - To the Cigar,

I'd like to thank the Cigar for its continuing coverage of the important issue of college student alcohol use and misuse. I also think it is important for URI students to know that local police departments take drinking and driving seriously and are determined to enforce the law.

The South Kingstown and Narragansett police departments combined made 209 DUI arrests in 2004, according to a September 19 story in The Providence Journal. This is more than double the arrest total of 92 in 2000-a 127% increase.

This report comes after URI's RhodeMap to Safety campaign announced a new law enforcement grant of $34,000 for the Town of Narragansett to beef up the police department's DUI enforcement using targeted patrols.

A scientific survey that I conducted in 2004 revealed that 83.3% of URI students wanted to see greater enforcement of state drinking and driving laws. I am pleased to report that URI and town officials are responding.

The survey also indicated overwhelming student support for "safe ride" programs. With URI students leading the way, Common Ground and RhodeMap to Safety are working hard to help launch such a program, Rhody Rides, here at URI. We hope the student body will continue to support efforts to enhance student safety.

Mark Wood, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Co-Director, RhodeMap to Safety