Democratic state Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio appeared at the traffic tribunal in Cranston Tuesday afternoon. He pleaded no contest to charges that he refused to take a blood-alcohol test last Wednesday morning when he was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving.
While Senator Ruggerio, did not take the breathalyzer, officers say he failed numerous field sobriety tests, wreaked of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. By pleading no contest today, the drunk driving charges will be dropped against Ruggerio, but he will have his driver's license suspended for six months. After court today, the senator did not give a statement.
Senator Ruggerio is due in district court again Wednesday, but we are told that's when the drunk driving charges will be officially dropped. This case is not over, despite what the prosecutor said. You may recall state Senator Frank Ciccone was also at the scene of the arrest and we know he made veiled threats against police that their pensions could be targeted for arresting Senator Ruggerio.
Prosecutors said today that Ruggerio got no special deal. In fact, the penalties for refusing the blood-alcohol test was toughened from a three month suspension to six months.