Callaghan & Callaghan – Attorneys – Rhode Island



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RI Unveils New Mobile Drunk Driving Machine

Ri Drunk Driving

Beware RI’s new mobile drunk driving command unit.

This week the RI Department of Transportation unveiled a new tool, an RV/truck type vehicle, in its continued statewide effort to combat drunk driving.  The Blood Alcohol Testing (BAT) unit provides police with a mobile drunk driving command center. According to RIDOT, police officers can now utilize the BAT to quickly and efficiently process alleged drunk drivers.

The vehicle appears to resemble the type of mobile unit utilized by a blood center. However, it will likely not involve actual blood tests. Rather, the BAT unit includes an on board breathalyzer machine.

The mobile drunk driving unit will allow departments to process alleged violators roadside. Instead of time consuming transports to police departments, officers will be able to conduct sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests, and process paperwork while on scene.

At this time it is not clear whether alleged drunk drivers will be brought to a police station post-BAT. In addition, it is not clear if a person charged with drunk driving would be arraigned by a bail commissioner on scene, or if some other procedure will occur. In addition, there is no mention of the ability for an accused to make a phone call on board.

The RIDOT press release did not include further details on the BAT. We are not aware of when the unit will be deployed, which police departments will have access to the unit, or in what areas the BAT may be deployed. Stay tuned for further details.

In the meantime, avoid the BAT at all costs. And if you find yourself in the the BAT, or accused of any drunk driving offense, call Callaghan & Callaghan immediately (401) 294-4555.