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Officer Charges Driver, Asleep at Traffic Light, 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.

WARWICK, RI — Officer Jonathan Byrne was driving on Elmwood Avenue when he saw a blue Acura sedan stopped at a green light, with a crowd of men knocking on the window, and investigated, arresting the driver on a DUI charge.

Byrne stopped behind the car, noting that the brake lights were on, and one of the men who had been knocking on the car approached him, telling him that the driver was passed out and they were trying to wake him up, according to the officer’s report.

Byrne approached the car and as he did, the man woke, appearing confused, Byrne reported. The officer explained that he had been asleep at the wheel at the light for an undetermined amount of time. As they spoke, the officer noted an odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle and the breath of the driver, identified as Jan Hilfer, 32, of 444 Meshanticut Valley Parkway, Apt. #50, Cranston, RI.

Hilfer admitted to having been drinking earlier that night. Byrne invited him to a series of sobriety tests, which he agreed to. Hilfer demonstrated a lack of smooth pursuit in his vision, involuntary eye movements; stepped off-line during a walk and turn test and was unable to balance on one foot. After the tests, Byrne arrested Hilfer on suspicion of DUI, and transported him to Warwick Police Headquarters, where he refused to submit to a blood alcohol breath test.

Byrne charged Hilfer with DUI, first offense, blood alcohol unknown, and cited him for refusing the test, and was scheduled for an Aug. 9 court hearing in Third District Court.

His car was towed from the scene by a Hunter’s Towing.

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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