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Car Hits Tree, Driver Arrested for DUI

The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.

Warwick, RI – Officer John Curley was called to the area of Northrup Street and Oakland Beach Avenue May 22 at 11:33 p.m. for a report of a car striking at tree at that intersection, ultimately arresting the driver on a DUI charge.

At the intersection, Curley found three women and one man near a black 2011 Nissan Altima two-door. The car had suffered disabling front-end damage, according to Curley’s report.

Two of the women and the man had heard the collision and approached the wreck from their homes. The third woman, the driver, later identified as Michelle Morris, 44, of 94 Northrup St., Warwick, was being evaluated by Warwick Rescue personnel. Morris refused treatment, Curley reported.

The officer spoke to Morris, who told him she’d driving from her home when she dozed and struck  a tree nearby. As the officer spoke with her, he noticed a strong odor of alcohol on her breath, according to the report. Curley also noted she had bloodshot, watery eyes. She also appeared to have difficulty keeping her balance.

The officer asked if she’d had anything to drink. and Morris said she’d had a drink while at dinner at about 7 p.m., Curley reported.

Curley asked Morris to perform a series of sobriety tests, which she failed. She showed a lack of smooth pursuit in her vision, could not maintain her stance during the walk-and-turn, saying she could not perform that test because of occasional debilitating migraines. She also failed to keep her balance during the one-leg-stand despite stating her condition would not interfere with it.

Morris tested at a blood alcohol level of .265 at the scene of the crash, but then refused a chemical blood test after being transported to Warwick Police Headquarters.

Curley charged Morris with driving under the influence of alcohol, first offense, blood alcohol unknown, and cited her for refusing the chemical test. She was released later that night to a sober adult.

Morris is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on the charges July 1 in Third District Court.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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