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Contact RhodeMap To Safety

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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about RhodeMap to Safety

Questions about Responsible Beverage Service (RBS)

Questions about Rhody Rides

Questions about Drinking Laws

Questions about Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Questions about Common Ground

Click here to read the Common Ground FAQs.

What is RhodeMap to Safety?

RhodeMap to Safety is a public awareness campaign that features a variety of environmental approaches to address alcohol use among college students, including:

  •       Increasing students’ knowledge of the drinking and driving laws to help students prevent the consequences and expense of state and URI alcohol-related penalties.

  •       Increasing students’ awareness of increased alcohol enforcement efforts both on-campus and in the surrounding communities of Narragansett and South Kingstown.

  •       Informing students that the majority of URI undergraduates support increasing enforcement as well as other alcohol-related policies.

  •       Assisting local tavern and liquor storeowners in promoting a public commitment to abide by Responsible Beverage Service guidelines, which includes strategies for preventing sales to underage individuals and noticeably intoxicated patrons.

  •       Promoting the use of the Rhody Rides safe ride program.

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How many college students die from alcohol-related traffic accidents or other unintentional injuries each year?
  •       Approximately 1350 college students die each year as a result of alcohol-related traffic crashes.  In 2001, college students accounted for an estimated 32% of all alcohol-related traffic deaths among 18-24 year olds. 

  •       Approximately 368 college students die each year as a result of other alcohol-related unintentional injuries. 

  •       RhodeMap to Safety focuses on helping students avoid becoming one of the approximately 1350 college students who die each year from alcohol-related injuries.

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Why does the RhodeMap to Safety campaign emphasize the enforcement of URI rules and state laws?

It is important for college students to be aware of both state and URI penalties for alcohol use, especially given that most college students are underage.  By increasing enforcement efforts in Narragansett and South Kingstown and by publicizing the laws, RhodeMap to Safety is communicating to students that underage drinking and drunk driving are taken seriously.

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RhodeMap to Safety reports that a high percentage of URI students support several alcohol-related policies.  Does this really represent the views of URI undergraduate students?

There are two important aspects of the method we used to conduct the Common Ground survey in order to generalize our findings to the entire URI student population:

  • We started with a sample of URI undergraduate students randomly drawn from the entire undergraduate URI population. 
  • We worked to achieve a high response rate: 82% of the students we contacted agreed to participate in the survey.

As a result, we can conclude that the responses from our sample can be generalized to the URI student population at large.

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What practices are included in RBS?

Responsible Beverage Service includes:

  •       Checking age identification of customers who appear under age 30.

  •       Identifying fake IDs and turning them over to police.

  •       Taking steps to prevent legal age adults from buying alcohol for underage individuals.

  •       Refusing alcohol service to underage or intoxicated customers.

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What are the Cooperating Tavern Agreement and the Cooperating Liquor Store Agreement?

Local tavern and liquor store owners sign the Cooperating Tavern Agreement and the Cooperating Liquor Store Agreement, respectively, as part of their continued commitment to serve alcohol responsibly.  This public commitment lets customers, including URI students, know that businesses take RBS seriously.  The cooperative agreements include:

  • Ongoing support for RBS by owners and managements

  • Enforcement of the minimum legal drinking age
  • Adherence to principals of responsible advertising
  • Being a positive role model in the business community

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What does it mean for a tavern or liquor store to be in “good standing” regarding responsible alcohol beverage service?
  •       Businesses actively supporting RBS will post a sign at their establishments stating that “Responsible beverage service is practiced here.” 

  •       Staff at these establishments complete certified training in responsible alcohol beverage service, for example, how to identify fake IDs and how to recognize when continued alcohol service to a customer may become problematic.


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What is Rhody Rides?

  • Rhody Rides is a safe rides program developed and operated by a group of URI students and financially supported by the URI Student Senate. 
  • Rhody Rides provides safe alternative transportation to prevent URI students from driving under the influence of alcohol or riding with an intoxicated friend who refuses to turn over the keys.
  • The program began operating on February 10, 2006. It runs on Friday and Saturday nights from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

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What is the purpose of Rhody Rides?
  • Rhody Rides is provided as Plan B – an alternative to driving under the influence.  Plan A, planning ahead and selecting a designated driver, is always the better alternative.  Rhody Rides wants students to use the program, but not abuse it.
  • Rhody Rides is part of a larger prevention effort that includes the RhodeMap to Safety campaign and the Cooperating Tavern Program.  It is part of a collaborative effort to address alcohol use among URI students and in the community.  See the “RhodeMap to Safety” and “Responsible Beverage Service” sections for more information.

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What volunteer opportunities does Rhody Rides offer?
  • Students can volunteer to be drivers, navigators, or dispatchers for Rhody Rides.
  • Each Rhody Rides car is operated by a driver and a navigator, who have not been drinking, and who take a nonjudgmental stance toward the students they serve. There are no ID checks and no lectures about alcohol abuse.
  • If you are interested in volunteering, contact for more information about the positions available and the upcoming trainings.

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What are Rhode Island’s alcohol laws for persons under age 21?

It is illegal for persons under 21 years of age to transport, purchase, attempt to purchase, or possess alcohol.  It is illegal for persons 21 and older to provide alcohol to someone underage.

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What are the drinking and driving laws in Rhode Island?

Drinking and driving laws in Rhode Island include the zero tolerance law and the .08% per se law.   

  •       For persons who are under 21, the zero tolerance law applies.  The zero tolerance law states that it is against the law for a person under age 21 to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .02%.

  •       For persons who are 21 or older, the .08% per se law applies.  The .08% per se law states that it is against the law for a person age 21 or older to drive a vehicle with a BAC above .08%. The per se law means that a person can be charged on a test of BAC alone, without evidence of impairment.

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The law states that it is illegal for a person under 21 to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% or higher.  Why is the limit not .00% BAC?

While certain states have a zero tolerance law set at a BAC of .00%, other states, including Rhode Island, set the legal limit for the zero tolerance law at .02%.  This results from concerns about legal challenges claiming that other substances, such as mouthwash or cold medicine, were responsible for a positive but very low BAC measurement.

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What is Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)?

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), also known as Blood Alcohol Level (BAL), refers to the amount of alcohol that is in a person’s bloodstream.  BAC is the number of milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.  For example, a BAC of 0.10% indicates that one-tenth of 1% of the blood in a person’s body is alcohol.

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What factors affect BAC?

BAC rises at different rates for different people depending on their sex, weight, number of drinks, amount eaten, and time spent drinking.  The more a person drinks, the higher his or her BAC gets, which puts a person at increased risk for getting hurt, having an accident, choking on vomit, or losing consciousness.

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How many drinks does it take to reach a BAC of .02%?  A BAC of .08%?

For an average person, one standard drink (12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor) consumed in an hour will increase BAC to about .02%.  Similarly, consuming 4 standard drinks in an hour will increase BAC to about .08%.  Remember, BAC is affected by other factors, especially gender and weight.

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How can I find out more about RhodeMap to Safety?

For more information about:

  •       RhodeMap to Safety, a public awareness campaign at URI to increase awareness of student support for enforcement, increased local alcohol enforcement efforts, and alcohol-related laws and policies, log on to

  •       The Narragansett—URI Coalition, a group of volunteers whose mission is "to jointly work together to address problems and concerns by developing strategies and activities that foster amicable co-existence," log on to

  •       URI’s Substance Abuse Prevention Services, which provides education and resources to students to enable them to make healthy decisions about substance use, log on to

You may also call the project office at 401-874-5025 or email

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What volunteer opportunities does RhodeMap to Safety offer?

Here are a few of the ways URI students can get involved:

  •       All URI students are welcome to participate in the Narragansett—URI Coalition, which consists of a group of volunteers whose mission is "to jointly work together to address problems and concerns by developing strategies and activities that foster amicable co-existence."  The meetings take place on the third Tuesday of every month at the Narragansett Town Hall at 7 pm.  For an updating listing of the scheduled meetings, please visit

  •       Students can get involved by supporting grassroots efforts on campus for safe ride and designated driver campaigns.  For more information, email

  •       There are limited opportunities for students to become involved by enrolling in course credit or for pay.  For more information, call the RhodeMap to Safety project office at 401-874-5025.

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