More troopers on RI roads

Andrea Medeiros

amedeiros@abc6.com

Troopers are out and about aggressively looking for drunk
drivers this New Year's weekend, and they're sending a message to dozens about
safety. State police are asking you to make driving sober your New Year's
resolution.

There were twenty-five drunk driving deaths in Rhode Island this year. It's
the fewest in half a century, but troopers say there's more work to be done.

Mom Cathy Andreozzi knows all about the devastation drunk
driving can cause. Her daughter was hit by a drunk driver, ten years ago,
walking home from her bus stop.

“She doesn't walk, she doesn't talk, she doesn't eat,” said Andreozzi,
“She's fully dependent on other people 24-7, certainly not the life she should
have been living.”

The vibrant girl who once loved the holidays is now stuck in
a wheelchair. A fate, state police don't want anyone else to have to face.

“Our message is pretty simple. Don't drink and drive,” said State
Police Colonel Steven O'Donnell, “If someone wants to consume alcohol, that's
their business, but don't get behind the wheel.”

At an event at CCRI's Lincoln campus,
Thursday, 66 people dressed in red and black shirts represented those who were
killed on the roads in Rhode Island
last year. The ones in red shirts symbolized those killed by drunk drivers.

“The stakes are way too high, death,” said Colonel O'Donnell,
“You can't get worse than that.”

Troopers are sending a warning. There will be more patrols
out this weekend. Many of them are focused on tracking down drunk drivers.

It's an initiative Andreozzi is happy to be a part of.

“Every family in RI and the country everywhere is threatened
to have their families shattered from the actions of one person and one bad
choice,” she said.

More than 32–thousand people died last year on American
roads.