WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The man suspected of driving while intoxicated when his SUV collided with another on Sunday evening was arraigned from his bed at Rhode Island Hospital Tuesday afternoon.
Justin Preston, 34, of East Providence, is charged with driving under the influence resulting in serious bodily injury, two counts of driving to endanger resulting in personal injury, and driving with a suspended license. His bail was set at $100,000 with surety, but he was ordered held as a bail violator. Police said he was out on bail for a previous charge of driving with a suspended license. Warwick Police said Preston has been charged with driving with a suspended license three times.
Warwick police said Preston’s silver SUV going southbound crossed the double yellow line, hitting a black SUV going northbound head-on about 8:40 p.m. Sunday night near the 900 block of Warwick Avenue.
At the time of the crash, Preston had two children in the back seat of his car: an 8-year-old and a 2-year-old. At last check, the 8-year-old child was listed in “grave” condition; the 2-year-old was released from the hospital on Sunday night. Police could not confirm the relationship between Preston and the children on Tuesday afternoon, but said both children were in his care.
Just a few hours after the crash, police responded to a second crash where a man was killed and a driver was accused of driving while intoxicated.
According to Eric Creamer, the Executive Director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving of Rhode Island, drunk driving “is a 100 percent preventable crime.”
He added, “there are proposed bills to try and strengthen these penalties and MADD is certainly advocating for all of them.”
Last year, 42 percent of traffic penalties in the state were DUI-related, Creamer said. This is higher than the national average.
MADD gives Rhode Island only one star on a five-star scale ranking how effectively the state deals with trying to end drunk driving.