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Local principal charged with DUI

June 12, 2011

NORTH KINGSTOWN – The 60-year-old principal of Fishing Cove Elementary School has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
Edna M. “Edie” Dunn, of 50 Pine River Dr., was stopped by North Kingstown police at 12:20 a.m. on June 3, after an officer observed a silver SUV drifting from lane to lane and then driving in both lanes simultaneously on Post Road near Namcook Road.
According to the official police report, Dunn “searched through the same papers numerous times with negative results” trying to produce her license, registration and proof of insurance. She ultimately was able to locate the documents.
She told police she was coming from the 007 Bar & Grille. Patrol Officer Kevin J. Dailey reported an “odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from Ms. Dunn’s breath and I observed her to have bloodshot watery eyes.”
Dunn told Dailey she’d had two glasses of wine while at the establishment on Post Road.
Dailey called for backup and administered a field sobriety test to Dunn. “On more than one occasion,” Dailey said in his report, “I observed as Ms. Dunn was swaying from side to side as she walked to the rear of her vehicle. On more than one occasion Ms. Dunn appeared as if she was going to fall over while walking to the rear of her vehicle.”
According to reports of both Dailey and Patrol Officer Christopher M. Mull, Dunn failed all three phases of the field sobriety test.
After being unable to “maintain a steady breath sample” for the breath test, despite being given three opportunities, Dunn was taken into custody, handcuffed and placed in the rear of Dailey’s patrol car. Her vehicle was towed.
Dunn completed a breathalyzer test at police headquarters and, while waiting for the results, told police she had consumed an alcoholic beverage at Sonoma Bar & Grille and then two more glasses of wine at 007 Bar & Grille.
The breathalyzer tests were a .158 blood alcohol level for the first sample, .183 for the second and 1.77 for the third. She was charged with driving under the influence, photographed, fingerprinted and placed in a cell.
At 2:50 a.m., Dunn was released with a summons to appear in 4th District Court June 14. She was also cited through the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal for crossing the marked road lanes and operating left of center.
School Superintendent Dr. Philip Thornton said no action is being taken against Dunn because “the DUI has no bearing on her abilities as a principal.” He also pointed out that a new principal will be named for Fishing Cove Elementary on June 14; Dunn is retiring June 30 and moving to Vermont.
A spokeswoman at Fishing Cove said Dunn was unavailable and would have no comment.

Martha Smith is an award-winning journalist and author. Retired, she can be reached at

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