KINGSTON, R.I. — Dec. 17, 2019 — Those who are driving under the influence on and in the vicinity of the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston Campus better not encounter Officer Michael Intrieri.
A member of the URI Police Department, Intrieri’s efforts have been recognized by the Rhode Island chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). The chapter recently presented Intrieri with the Overall Achievement Award in the category of Law Enforcement DUI Officer. Intrieri, specially trained in the detection of operators under the influence, was the only officer in the state to receive this award.
Sean Cassidy, the Rhode Island State executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving commented, “there were numerous nominations for the award, but Officer Intrieri stood out due to his accomplishments in his field, and the hard work he has done in the community. We were very pleased to present him with the award.”
Intrieri arrested more than 13 individuals for driving under the influence after submitting to a breath test in 2019. Several more refused to be breathalyzed, but were still arrested.
Intrieri noted that most of the driving under the influence arrests did not involve students, rather they were individuals driving by campus on Route 138.
When asked why preventing drunken and drugged driving is important to him, Intrieri said, “being vigilant about drunken driving makes the campus much safer, and protects the members of our URI community.”
“This award recognizes the hard work, dedication and professionalism of Officer Intrieri,” said URI Police Maj. Michael Jagoda. “It also showcases his commitment to educating the community about the consequences of operating a motor vehicle under the influence. It’s made our roadways safer for motorists and pedestrians and our campus community safer as a whole.
“Officer Intrieri’s success is a combination of him feeling passionately about this issue and having received education and specialty training in this field,” Jagoda said. “Officer Intrieri has been trained in the detection of operators under the influence of drugs at Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) training, and in mid-January, he will begin his Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) training, which focuses on what interactions between different drugs look like in motorists, specifically narcotics. He also has extensive training in field sobriety testing, and roadside field testing.”
Additionally, Intrieri is involved in URI’s Citizen Police Academy, which teaches the community about the ramifications of driving under the influence, the different levels of intoxication through the use of drunk goggles, and how reaction time, perception, impairment, and overall decision making are affected by drugs and alcohol.
“Times are changing, and we are seeing an increase in operators under the influence of drugs rather than alcohol,” said Jagoda. “We need to prepare our officers to have that specialty training to make sure our roadways are safe. DRE is an extensive training program in Rhode Island, and the participants are also traveling to Arizona for specialty training in prisons there. Thanks to our Capt. Michael Chalek’s efforts in securing grant funding, we’ve been recognized by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s Office on Highway Safety to send Officer Intrieri to that training.”
“It’s our mission to have safe roadways for everyone, including our visitors,” Jagoda added. “We’ve seen a change in the demographics of transportation on campus as more students ride bicycles, especially with the addition of the new bike path. There are also more community members on foot enjoying our beautiful campus. It’s something that we take very seriously. We know the consequences of people driving under the influence, and the damage they can do. It’s our goal to prevent these circumstances.”
URI Campus Police can be reached at 401-874-4910, and their webpage can be found here.
Lauren Poirier, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations and English major, wrote this press release.