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Driver in Quaker Lane Crash Charged with 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.

WEST WARWICK, RI — The Jeep Wrangler driver who had rear-ended a Toyota Yaris March 7 at 9:45 a.m. at 509 Quaker Lane said, “I stopped, they didn’t,” failing to grasp cause and effect, shortly before Officer Gregory Johnson charged her with driving under the influence of alcohol.

Johnson arrived at the scene of the crash, at the light infront of Balise Honda, in the right, southbound lane, where Warwick Fire

Department personnel were on the scene and tending to the Yaris driver,according to his report. The driver of the Toyota, a 70-year-old woman,complained of neck and back pain. She was taken by rescue truck for treatmentof her injuries, Johnson reported.

Johnson, one of three officers responding to the crash,spoke with the Jeep driver with the help of Officer Julio Benros. Theyidentified that driver as Michelle Thibault, 29, of 101 Walton Ave., Warwick,according to Johnson’s report.

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Thibault’s speech was slow and slurred and her eyes werebloodshot with constricted pupils. The driver also exuded a fruity alcoholicodor, according to Johnson’s report.

Thibault told Johnson, “I stopped, they didn’t,” and Johnsonexplained that actually, she had apparently struck the Toyota from behind as itwaited, stopped, at a red light.

Johnson asked Thibault to step from the vehicle to test therest of her faculties. A series of sobriety tests revealed she had a lack ofsmooth pursuit and involuntary eye movement in her vision, had trouble standingduring a walk and turn test, then failed to touch heel to toe during any of hersteps, and was unable to balance on one foot for more than two seconds.

When her Jeep was searched, Johnson reported finding anopen, half-full bottle of New Amsterdam Raspberry Vodka in the back seat.

Johnson arrested Thibault and transported her to WarwickPolice Headquarters, 99 Veterans Memorial Drive, where she registered a .309

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and .307 on successive blood alcohol breath tests, according to the report.

Johnson charged Thibault with DUI, first offense, bloodalcohol greater than .15, and she was held for an afternoon hearing in ThirdDistrict Court as a bail violator, with a pending DUI charge from the WPD, thenreleased on bail.

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 WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.