On August 9, 2016 I, Lieutenant deOliveira, was in full uniform and assigned marked unit 878 for the Somerville Police Department. At approximately 4:40 p.m., I was stationary at the corner of Mt. Vernon Street and Washington Street, both public ways in the City of Somerville, monitoring the flow of traffic, when the operator of a brown Hyundai Santa Fe alerted me to an erratic driver behind him.
Both the operator of the Hyundai and the front passenger told me that they had been following a gray Toyota Tacoma from Interstate 93 and witnessed the operator swerve and operate in an unsafe manner, nearly causing a collision, many times. They continued to watch this behavior for many miles, until they saw my cruiser. They never lost sight of the pickup truck until that point. As I looked behind him, I observed one (and only one) gray Toyota Tacoma bearing MA registration XXXXX, occupied only by the operator, registered to a Mr. Justin Winchester (DOB XXXXX).
I waited for the pickup truck in question to pass me and followed behind, with the intent of witnessing the alleged erratic operation. As I was following the pickup truck, I personally observed the truck swerve left and right, and as it swerved back again to the left it nearly struck the vehicle traveling in the opposite lane. At that point, I decided it was no longer safe to allow the operation to continue and turned on my cruiser’s blue lights and sirens, subsequently stopping the pickup truck at the corner of Washington Street and Franklin Avenue, both public ways in the City of Somerville. Officer Anderson, in marked unit 872, was dispatched as back up.
I exited my cruiser and approached from the driver’s side of the pickup truck. I immediately recognized the odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his person. It took the operator at least 20 seconds to realize I was standing there. When asked for his driver’s license and registration, he provided me with his insurance card. I pointed that out, and it took him nearly 1 minute to finally provide me the correct paperwork. The operator was finally identified as the owner of the vehicle, Mr. Justin Winchester. I engaged Mr. Winchester in conversation, and with his responses I noticed his speech to be slurred, his eyes to be red/bloodshot like, and the continued odor of alcohol emanating from his person and his breath. I also asked him if he had been drinking, to which he answered: “I had a couple”. He also told me it was “about an hour ago”, “at a bar on Somerville Avenue”. Lastly, I asked him if he had just come from that bar, and Mr. Winchester told me he had just come from the grocery store where he bought “stuff” for his salad. It should be noted that there were no groceries anywhere in his vehicle.
Based on my observations, I asked Mr. Winchester to perform some Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) to determine if he was under the influence of alcohol, which he agreed to. The FSTs were performed on the sidewalk, in a dry and smooth surface, non slippery, spacious, and it was still daylight out. I would like to mention that I am trained and certified in Field Sobriety testing (FST), as well as in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) through the Municipal Police Training Committee. Officer Anderson was also present and observed the testing being conducted.
The first test I had Mr. Winchester perform was the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. I asked him if he had any problems with his eyes which would prevent him from following the tip of my pen, which he answered “no”. I asked him if he wore contact lenses, which he answered “no”. I then told him to keep his head still and follow the tip of my pen with his eyes only. He stated he understood my instructions. For most of the test he couldn’t keep his head still as he followed the movements of my pen. There were many times he did not follow the tip of my pen at all. My observations were a lack of smooth pursuit, distinct and sustained Nystagmus at maximum deviation, and an onset of Nystagmus prior to 45 degrees in both of Mr. Winchester’s eyes.
The second test I administered was the 9 Step Walk and Turn. As previously mentioned, Mr. Winchester was on a dry, hard, level, non slippery surface. There was sufficient room for him to complete nine steps. There was a straight line on the concrete block for him to follow. I demonstrated and explained the test fully, and he stated he understood my instructions. I asked him if he had any injuries which would prevent him from performing this test, which he answered no. My observations were that Mr. Winchester attempted to start too soon, upon taking his first step was already off the line, did not touch heel-to-toe, and stumbled to his left nearly falling and hitting the vehicle parked next to us if not for Officer Anderson’s help.
The last test I had Mr. Winchester perform was the One Leg Stand. I demonstrated and explained the test fully, and he stated he understood my instructions. My observations were that Mr. Winchester used his arms for balance, began hopping and stumbling to the point of, again, almost falling and hitting the vehicle parked next to us. At that point, for his safety, I decided to conclude the Field Sobriety Tests and placed Mr. Winchester under arrest (double locking the handcuffs) for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Mr. Winchester was transported to the Somerville Police Department by Officer Soares, in marked unit 200, to be booked in the usual manner by Lieutenant Mulcahy.
After being booked, Mr. Winchester requested to exercise his right to a chemical test via a breathalizer. The test was administered at the Somerville Police Department. The results of the breath test showed that Mr. Winchester had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.32%, which is four (4) times the legal limit in the Commonwealth. The breathalizer report is attached to this report.
Mr. Winchester’s vehicle was towed incident to his arrest. During the inventory of his vehicle, per department policy, I discovered 2 empty small bottles (50ml “nips”) of Smirnoff Vodka in the side pocket of the driver’s door, and in the center console 1 half-empty 375ml bottle of Smirnoff Vodka. I could not, however, locate the aforementioned groceries anywhere in the vehicle. Those items were confiscated, photographed, and the photos are attached to this report. It should also be noted that Mr. Winchester’s vehicle had many fresh damage to its driver’s side, it’s front passenger’s side, a broken driver’s sideview mirror, and scratches all around.
Lieutenant Diogo A. deOliveira
Patrol Division Supervisor #263
Somerville Police Department