Providence introduces 'B.A.T. Mobile' to prevent drunken driving

The men in blue have a new tool on their hands, as a B.A.T. Mobile is now in Providence. (WJAR)

The men in blue have a new tool on their hands, as a B.A.T. Mobile is now in Providence.

It's not Bruce Wane's nighttime ride, but instead a Blood Alcohol Testing Mobile Unit to stop drunk drivers in their tracks.

The B.A.T Mobile is making its debut on Richmond and Clifford Streets in downtown Providence near several downtown nightclubs.

"Every single weekend, there are people driving drunk and with this B.A.T Mobile here in our city and also throughout the state, we have the ability to... bring anyone who is driving under the influence to justice," Mayor Jorge Elorza said.

Nationwide, more than 100 people have died over the last five years during the Halloween weekend.

Although the unit will mostly be used in Providence, other departments and state police will also use it.

Law enforcement said it will more than likely be used on weekends, holidays, as well as special events and festivals.

The $350,000 mobile unit was paid for with a Rhode Island Department of Transportation Office of Highway Safety grant.

A few police officers certified to administer breathalyzer will man the unit. There, they can test and fingerprint DUI suspects, as well as detain them in two holding cells. There's also room to complete an arraignment.

"Efficiency," said Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare. "So, we can get this piece of equipment out into the community rather than tie up a patrol officer or trooper for two, three, four hours."

While the unit will make it easier to complete arrests, police statewide hope the B.A.T Mobile makes people think twice about how they can help prevent drunken driving.

The city also revealed three new Jaws of Life Devices for the Providence Fire Department. These tools are used to help free victims of drunken driving crashes.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off