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
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.
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
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.