Real Life Somerville Police Stories:Doreen KOENIG (OUI Liquor, Leave Scene of Property Damage)

On February 4, 2017 at approximately 8:55 PM, I (Officer Mark Nevin / West 5) was dispatched to the intersection of Winthrop Street at Mystic Valley Parkway in Medford where the Medford Police had a motor vehicle stopped. The motor vehicle was involved in a hit and run moments earlier at Medford and Lowell Streets in Somerville. The following is a brief summary of my investigation:

 

Upon my arrival, I spoke to Officer Christopher Kelly (Badge #281) of the Medford Police Department. He was the officer who stopped the defendant (Doreen Koenig). He stated that Ms. Koenig seemed to be “out of it” and she had no idea why she had been stopped.

 

I then spoke with the driver (XXXXX) of the car hit by Ms. Koenig. XXXXX explained that he was stopped (westbound) at the red light on Medford Street at Lowell Street. The car behind his suddenly passed his car on the left and in so doing side-swiped his car and continued driving away. He followed the offending car and attempted to get the driver’s attention by flashing his car’s high beams and honking its horn. XXXXX noticed that the driver did not respond at all to his actions. The car did not speed up or slow down or stop. So, he called 911 on his cell phone and reached the Medford Police Department. The Medford Police were able to intercept and stop the offending vehicle.

 

Next, I approached the suspect’s (Ms. Koenig) car. When she rolled down her window to speak to me I got a strong whiff of alcohol coming from her car. The odor was more pronounced once she began to speak. I asked her several questions, which she politely answered. She stated that she was coming from a birthday dinner at a restaurant in Reading, but she could not remember the name of the restaurant. After dinner she went to a friend’s house for a while. She said that she had three drinks, but later said she only had two. During our conversation I noticed that her speech did not seem slurred, but her reaction to my questions was slow and her hand gestures appeared uncoordinated. Given these signs, I believed that Ms. Koenig may be impaired due to her alcohol consumption.

 

Somerville and Medford entered into a mutual aid agreement in February 2014. This agreement was sponsored by the Middlesex Chiefs of Police Association and is based on Chapter 40, Section 8G of the MGLs. Based on the mutual aid agreement, I exercised my authority to continue my investigation.

 

I asked Ms. Keonig if she would step out of the car and participate in a field sobriety test. She agreed and stepped out of the car, and I guided her to the sidewalk. Her gait was awkward and lumbering, but she managed to walk to the sidewalk without incident. The sidewalk was made of smooth continuous asphalt and was well lit. Ms. Keonig that she did not have any physical defects or impediments that may impair her ability to do any of the tests described below. Additionally, she said she did not have contact lenses in her eyes or require glasses.

 

The first test I administered was the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. After explaining to Ms. Koenig the instructions, I commenced the test. She had difficulty following the stylus without moving her head. I reminded her several times to maintain her head position to the front. Ms. Koenig did not display signs of Nystagmus during the Horizontal test, so I also performed a Vertical Nystagmus test. During this test, she did exhibit significant Nystagmus at maximum deviation.

 

Next, I asked Ms. Koenig to perform the one-leg stand test. As I began to explain and demonstrate the instructions, she suddenly became unsteady on her feet and insisted that she would be unable to perform the test due to three previous knee surgeries. I then asked Ms. Koenig if she was able to walk toe-to-heel. She responded that she could and then without prompting, she demonstrated by walking several toe-to-heel steps and then stopped as suddenly as she began.

 

As with the set of instructions for the other two tests, I instructed Ms. Koenig to stand with her feet together and to position her arms by her side during the duration of the instructions. Previously, she had been able to stand at attention; however, this time she began to sway and move her arms. I reminded her to keep her posture as instructed while I gave her the instructions for the walk and turn test. After completing the instructions, Ms. Koenig said she understood. I told her to begin.

 

The first four or five steps she took were good, but then she began to take longer steps and became more careless with her toe-to-heel connections. She completed ten steps instead of nine, as instructed. She pivoted properly and walked back 14 normal steps with a complete disregard for the toe-to-heel connections.

 

Based on my observations and test results, I determined that I had probable cause to arrest Ms. Koenig for OUI alcohol. When I told her that she was under arrest, she said, “It’s all my own doing. It’s my fault.”

 

Officer Brian Pavao (West 6) arrived shortly after completing the field sobriety tests. I asked him to request the prisoner transport wagon. Ms. Koenig was transported to the station by Station Officer G. Singh and placed into holding.

 

Ms. Koenig’s car was towed by Pat’s towing and the keys were left with her car. A 12 hour hold was placed on the car.

 

There were no officers on duty that were authorized to administer the blood alcohol test, so Ms. Koenig was transported to the Medford State Police Barracks by Station Officer Roger Desrochers. State Trooper Robert Brown administered the blood alcohol test. The results showed that Ms. Koenig’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.24%, which is three times the legal limit.

 

Ms. Koenig was booked by Lt. DiGregorio.

 

I issued Ms. Koenig a citation (R7882776) for OUI Liquor and for leaving the scene of an accident. She was bailed prior to giving her the citation, so I will mail it to her.

 

 

Respectfully submitted by,

 

Officer Mark Nevin, #300

Somerville Police Department

 

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