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Driver Runs Red Light, 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 Jeffrey Taranto pulled over a blue 2007 Toyota Prius after for running a red light while headed north near 600 Quaker Ln Jan. 17 at 1 a.m. and arrested the driver on a DUI charge.

Taranto reported watching as the Prius ran the red light and proceeded to pull into the Denny’s parking lot before following and making the traffic stop outside the restaurant.

The officer spoke with the driver, later identified as Demetri Harris, 19, of 394 Walmsley Ln, Saunderstown, RI, and asked where he was headed. Walmsley told him he was headed to eat at Denny’s. Taranto reported smelling a strong odor of alcohol on the man’s breath, and that his speech was slurred.

When asked for his license, Harris said he didn’t have it. Taranto asked him to step from the car and take sobriety tests, which he agreed to. Harris demonstrated a lack of smooth pursuit in his vision and involuntary eye movements. He missed heel to toe cadence and stepped off-line during a walk and turn test, and was unable to balance on one foot, according to the officer’s report.

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Taranto arrested Harris on suspicion of DUI. A check of his person turned up 10.5 grams of marijuana.

At Warwick Police Headquarters, Harris refused a breath test. Taranto charged him with DUI, second offense, blood alcohol unknown, and cited him for refusing  the breath test, for driving on a suspended license and a violation marijuana possession.

Harris was scheduled for a date in Traffic Tribunal Court for the marijuana possession violation on Jan. 27, for a date in Third District Court Jan. 31 on the DUI charge, and for a date in Traffic Tribunal Court for running the red light.

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

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