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Swerving Driver Prompts DUI Arrest, Warrant

[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. A swerving driver prompted a DUI arrest on Post Road May 11.
WARWICK, RI — Officers Alejandro Martinez and Katerina Athaide pulled over a swerving red Hyundai Elantra on Post Road, leading to their DUI arrest of the driver May 11 at 11:30 p.m. and as subsequent bench warrant for her arrest June 1.

When the Hyundai, which had drawn their attention while swerving between the fog line and center line on Airport Road, took a right onto Post Road north, it crossed into the opposite lane, and the officers pulled the driver over in front of Burger King at 1848 Post Road, according to their reports.

Martinez identified the driver as Jonni Sabetta, 53, of 152 Broad St., Apt. 4B, Pawtucket, RI, and spoke with her about the reasons for the stop. As Sabetta searched for her license and registration, which she was unable to produce, Martinez noticed Smirnoff cans and small plastic Parrot Bay “nip” alcohol bottles on the front passenger’s side of the car, according to the officer’s report.

Martinez asked if Sabetta had been drinking, and she replied that she had drank, “one coconut shot” about an hour beforehand. As they spoke, Martinez could smell alcohol on the woman’s breath, and her eyes appeared bloodshot and watery, the officer noted. Martinez returned to her cruiser with the woman’s birth date and name, the returned and asked her to perform sobriety tests.

During the tests, Sabetta demonstrated a lack of smooth pursuit in her vision, an inability to walk a straight line as instructed during a walk and turn test, which the officer ended after the driver failed to keep her balance standing heel-to-toe; and was unable to safely balance on one leg during a one-leg-stand test, which the officer also ended to ensure Sabetta’s safety.

At Warwick Police Headquarters, 99 Veterans Memorial Drive, Sabetta refused to take a breath test of her blood alcohol level. Martinez charged her with DUI, blood alcohol content unknown, first offense, and also cited her for refusing the test. She was transported to Kent Memorial Hospital for detox treatment and left in the hospital’s care.

Sabetta was scheduled for an arraignment on the DUI charge on June 1 in Third District Court but failed to show. A bench warrant was issued for her arrest, to be held without bail.



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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