Real Life Somerville Police Stories:Marcelo BRANDAO (OUI)

   
  

On Friday, March 11th, 2016 I, Officer D’Amelio, was in full uniform assigned to marked cruiser unit 784 (E4) for the Somerville Police Department. At approximately 9:15 PM I was dispatched to the intersection of Broadway and Temple St. for a three car motor vehicle accident. The caller stated that one of the operators may be under the influence of alcohol. Broadway is a public way within the City of Somerville.

 

        On arrival I observed the three vehicles in the center lane stopped at the traffic light controlling the intersection of Broadway and Temple St. The first vehicle was a gray Honda CRV bearing MA Registration number XXXXX, operated by XXXXX (DOB: XX/XX/XX). Directly behind the Honda CRV was a black Toyota Avalon bearing MA Registration number YYYYY, operated by YYYYY (DOB: XX/XX/XX). The last vehicle which was behind both the Toyota and Honda was a black Chevrolet pickup truck bearing MA Commercial Registration number ZZZZZ. I requested all three operators to pull to the side of the road to allow traffic to flow freely. I first spoke to the operator of the black pickup truck, who was identified at Marcelo Brandao (DOB: XX/XX/XX). He informed me that due to the weight in the bed of his pickup truck he was unable to stop in time before colliding into the rear of the black Toyota Avalon. When speaking to Mr. Brandao, there was an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, in addition to having bloodshot and glassy eyes. In addition to the odor of alcohol and bloodshot eyes, Mr. Brandao responded to my questions in a delayed manner. I also observed that he was slurring his speech.

 

        Both XXXXX and YYYYY’s explanation of the collision coincided with each other. They stated that Mr. Brandao collided into YYYYY’s vehicle which in turn caused him to collide into the rear end of XXXXX as they were both stopped for the red traffic signal. No one suffered any injuries during the collision. Information was exchanged between all parties involved in the collision, XXXXX and YYYYY were advised and sent on their way. At this time, Officer Schneider (E1) responded to my location to provide assistance with the remainder of the incident. 

 

        After detecting the odor of an alcoholic beverage on Mr. Brandao’s breath, I asked him if he was willing to participate in some field sobriety tests to make sure he was able to safely drive. Mr. Brandao agreed to participate and informed me that he had consumed four beers prior to the motor vehicle crash. I opened the driver’s door of the truck to allow Mr. Brandao to exit the vehicle. As Mr. Brandao exited the vehicle he initially stumbled and grabbed the door to maintain his balance. After regaining his balance he began to walk towards me and while doing so he was swaying from side to side. Prior to starting the series of tests I asked Mr. Brandao if he had any injuries which may affect his ability to perform these test, or if there were any medications he takes that may impair his coordination skills. Mr. Brandao replied “no” to both. Prior to administering each test I read a detailed set of instructions from a card that I keep on my persons at all times. In addition to explaining the instructions verbally, I also demonstrated each test until Mr. Brandao acknowledged that he understood how to take each one. The first test I was going to administer was the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. Prior to beginning this test I asked Mr. Brandao if he regularly wore any eye glasses or contacts of any kind, to which he replied “no.” I used the tip of my pen as a stimulus focal point. 

 

HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS (HGN)

        I first checked Mr. Brandao for resting nystagmus, which he did not have. I observed a lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes while administering the test. I also observed a distinct and sustained nystagmus in both eyes at maximum deviation. Both lack of smooth pursuit as well as a distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation are indicators of impairment. I did not observe nystagmus prior to a 45 degree angle in either of Mr. Brandao’s eyes. Mr. Brandao also did not exhibit vertical nystagmus. Mr. Brandao showed four out of six clues indicating impairment on the Horizontal gaze Nystagmus test.

 

ONE LEG STAND

         After fully demonstrating and explaining the one leg stand, Mr. Brandao fully understood the test requirements. The test was administered on level asphalt pavement within the local post office parking lot. I would like to note that Mr. Brandao was allowed to count in Portuguese, which he felt more comfortable reciting out loud. Mr. Brandao was able to count through the entire 30 seconds as required in the instructions, however he put his foot down several times, and swayed a number of times as well. Mr. Brandao showed two out of four clues indicating impairment on the One Leg Stand test. 

 

WALK AND TURN

        The walk and turn test is a divided attention test, in which prior to the test, the test taker is directed to stand in the starting position and maintain that position until told to start the test. Mr. Brandao attempted to start the test prior to me concluding the demonstration and instructional phase. I directed Mr. Brandao’s attention to a manufactured seam in the concrete sidewalk to use as a guide to walk in a straight line. The concrete seam was clear of all debris, on level ground, and was adequately illuminated by my cruisers alley lights. On the first nine steps Mr. Brandao stepped off of the highlighted concrete seam numerous times as well as turning improperly to complete the remaining nine steps. Mr. Brandao continued to step off of the line and made ten steps on the second part of the test instead of the instructed nine. Throughout the entire test Mr. Brandao was unable to maintain a steady balance. Mr. Brandao exhibited five out of eight possible clues on the walk and turn test, indicating impairment.

 

        After participating in all field sobriety tests, Marcelo Brandao was placed under arrest for M.G.L. 90/24- Operating under the influence of alcohol. He was also issued a Massachusetts criminal citation (#R7094074. Mr. Brandao was transported by Officer Collazo in Unit 200 (prisoner transport vehicle) to the Somerville Police Station where he was booked by Lieutenant Digregorio. Mr. Brandao was read his Miranda warnings at the booking window, where he agreed to submit to a chemical breath test. At approximately 11:30 PM Officer Schneider administered a breath test to Mr. Brandao, he provided a breath sample of .10 which is in violation of M.G.L. 90/24- .08 limit. The breath test report documents and notice of suspension will be attached to this report. Mr. Brandao’s vehicle was parked on private property for the evening. 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Officer George D’Amelio #324   

Somerville Police Department

 

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