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Rte. 37 Stop Ends with DUI Arrest Sept. 21

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] The WPD has ID'd the drivers in Monday's Airport Road Motorcycle crash, and disclosed more details of the investigation.

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] The WPD has ID'd the drivers in Monday's Airport Road Motorcycle crash, and disclosed more details of the investigation.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Warwick Police Department.
WARWICK, RI — Warwick Police’s DUI stop of a silver 2015 Volkswagen Jetta on Rte. 37 west after its driver failed to keep in his lane Sept. 21 at 8:31 p.m. ended with the West Warwick man’s arrest on a DUI charge.

Officers Kevin Grant and Connor Bemis were patrolling nort on Post Road when they spotted the Jetta headed south on Post Road near Elmwood Avenue, straying over the dotted white line. Bemis pulled a U-turn and they followed the car near Haxton’s Liquors. As the car approached the Rte. 37 west onramp it suddenly jerked to the right, taking the ramp, without using a turn signal, according to Grant’s report.

On Rte. 37 west, the driver continued to exhibit difficulty staying in his lane, driving the front wheels over the dotted line on either side repeatedly, according to the officer’s report. Bemis activated the cruiser’s emergency lights to pull the driver over.

The car attempted to pull over to the right, nearly striking the construction median before finding a safe portion of the median to pull over.

Bemis got out and spoke with the driver, identifying him as James P. Mitchell, 35, of 1393 Main St., Apt. 3FL, West Warwick, RI, then returned to the cruiser to report he suspected Mitchell was driving under the influence of alcohol, according t the report. Grant got out to speak with the driver, and asked him to step out of the car.

At first, Mitchell refused, telling Grant he was “busting his balls,” and that Mitchell was “not drunk,” according to the report. During this conversation, Grant reported an “overwhelming odor of an alcoholic beverage.” When informed that he would be charged with obstruction, he stepped out of the car.

Grant asked him to perform sobriety tests, during which Mitchell demonstrated a lack of smooth pursuit and involuntary movement in his vision, and, during a walk and turn test, used his arms for balance, failed to walk heel-to-toe as instructed, and used the wrong foot to turn. He also raised his foot about a foot off the ground, instead of six inches as instructed. Mitchell refused to take a portable breath test.

Grant arrested Mitchell on suspicion of DUI, and transported him to Warwick Police Headquarters, 99 Veterans Memorial Drive, where he also refused to take a breath test. During this process, Mitchell told Grant he had been traveling from Narragansett Parkway.

After Grant charged him with DUI, blood alcohol unknown, and cited him for refusing the breath test, lane violations and failing to use a turn signal, Mitchell said to Grant, “Look, I’m not that drunk, you don’t see me swaying,” according to the report.

Grant released Mitchell into the custody of a sober adult at 10:40 p.m.


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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