WESTERLY — Officers with the Westerly Police Department have partnered with MADD Rhode Island to increase efforts to prevent drunk driving this holiday season while honoring victims of past DUI crashes.
Westerly police and over a dozen other local police departments in Rhode Island will take part in MADD RI honor patrols, an awareness campaign as part of the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement in the state. The enforcement began on Dec. 18 and will continue through the end of the year.
According to a press release from MADD RI, the purpose of the program is to honor victims who lost their lives, or who were tragically injured, due to impaired driving crashes. These "honor patrols" will help raise public awareness on how drunk and drugged drivers can affect families forever.
There will be 30 patrols in total over the course of the holiday season, according to MADD RI Executive Director Sean Cassidy.
“These selfish crimes are 100% preventable,” Cassidy said. “These extra patrols should act as a deterrent to those who would be impaired drivers because they will see you before you see them. Law enforcement officers will have zero tolerance for those who drink and decide to drive.”
Westerly is honoring Evelyn M. Pagliaro as part of the 2020 enforcement. Pagliaro was struck and killed by a drunk driver in Providence on New Year’s Day 2019.
“It’s an important initiative to help bring awareness to the dangers while working to encourage everyone to remain safe and not drive drunk,” Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said.