Boy calls police from car to report drunk driving dad

Dee DeQuattro


On Wednesday evening a 10-year-old Rhode Island boy alarmed State Police when he called to report that his father was driving drunk on interstate 95.

The call came in after 11 p.m. on Wednesday night. The boy told police his dad was driving erratically with him and his 12-year-old sister in the car. He said he believed they were heading toward Warwick.

A short time later the boy indicated to police, who remained on the line that he was passing Exit 92, which is in Connecticut just out of Rhode Island. RI State Police contacted the Connecticut State Police at the Montville barracks who took over the call.

Shortly after Connecticut State Police took the call the car was involved in a crash in Stonington Connecticut. Police responded to the scene and arrested 40-year-old Owen Gilman of Warwick. In the vehicle police found a large amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The children and the other driver were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Gilman was arrested on the scene and was charged with reckless driving, driving under the influence, illegal sale of a controlled substance,  possession of a controlled substance, two counts of endangering a minor, and two counts of second degree vehicle assault. He was held on $35,000 bail.

“This is a significant problem,” said Lt. Colonel Michael Winquist of the Rhode Island State Police. “We have had a couple instances of this in the past several months.”

Winqust said it is because of the increase in adults driving under the influence with children in their car that the Rhode Island State Police pushed to make driving under the influence with a minor in the vehicle a felony offense.

“We think making it a felony will act as a true deterrent,” said Winquist. The legislation proposed by State Police failed in the Rhode Island General Assembly last session but Winquist says the State Police will continue to push for the legislation next session.