DUIs up dramatically this year in Tiverton

By Ted Hayes
Posted 9/1/21

It's been a busy year for Tiverton police officers, who through Sept. 1 have made 95 DUI arrests since the beginning of the year. If the pace continues at the same rate, officers will make end the …

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DUIs up dramatically this year in Tiverton

Posted

It's been a busy year for Tiverton police officers, who through Sept. 1 have made 95 DUI arrests since the beginning of the year. If the pace continues at the same rate, officers will make end the year with 142 drunk driving arrests.

Chief Patrick Jones told the Tiverton Town Council recently that arrests are up sharply from last year, when officers charged 36 drivers with DUI during the same period. Last year, he said, the department "wheeled back" enforcement as fewer drivers were on the road in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. But setting aside 2020, this year's numbers are still up from the two previous years. In 2019, officers made 78 arrests through Sept. 1, and 82 for the same time period in 2018. That's an average increase of about 20 percent.

"This year has been exponentially higher," he said. "We have officers out there (and) we're seeing a definite uptick.

Police sent out a press release last Wednesday warning residents that as the Labor Day holiday approaches, officers will be on the road looking for impaired drivers.

"We urge those that may opt to drive under the influence to seriously reconsider," police wrote, noting this year's 95 arrests.

The department "will not hesitate to add to that number if you are found to be driving impaired over the course of this weekend. Enjoy the holiday, but be smart and drive sober, or find an alternate way of transportation to your destination. For example, Uber or Lyft."

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.