Police deploy BAT Mobile for New Year’s Eve patrols

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CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Police across Rhode Island are cracking down on drunk drivers on New Year’s Eve, and this year, they have the BAT Mobile to help them out.

“It’s probably one of the biggest drinking nights of the year,” said Cranston Police Captain Russell Henry in an interview with Eyewitness News Saturday night. “So we do anticipate a lot of impaired drivers out on the road tonight that we’d like to take off the road.”

Henry said the BAT — or breath alcohol testing — Mobile, will help them do just that. Henry said the traditional booking process for drunk drivers is often lengthy, but with the BAT Mobile, officers can drop off a drunk driver and then get back on patrol.

“It has all the breath testing equipment inside, fingerprinting machine, it has four cells inside, so we’ll put it in a centralized location and its available to other communities,” explained Henry, who said a small staff would be stationed inside the BAT Mobile until 3 a.m. New Year’s Day.

Henry urged those who planned to celebrate to do so responsibly.

“The last thing you want to do is get behind the wheel and have a tragedy happen,” he said. “So be smart, and don’t drink and drive.”

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