Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Linda CARDALINO (OUI Liquor)

On Tuesday December 12, 2017, I, Officer Marra, was in full-uniform and assigned to marked cruiser 782, patrolling area E2, for the Somerville Police Department. At approximately 2005 hours, I assisted Unit East-3, Officer Sousa, who had put out a BOLO for a vehicle. Officer Sousa had initially responded to China Delight, located at 524 Somerville Ave. for a Dispute (Incident #17074938); while on scene, Officer Sousa learned that the driver of the aforementioned vehicle, Linda Cardalino, was allegedly operating under the influence of alcohol.

While in search of the vehicle in the surrounding area, dispatch notified units that staff at China Delight called back stating that the vehicle in question was parked out front of the restaurant. I notified dispatch that I was close by and responded to 524 Somerville Ave. As I approached, my emergency lights and siren were activated and I could see the vehicle double parked with its hazard lights flashing in front of 524 Somerville Ave., which is a public way in the city of Somerville. After positioning my cruiser behind the vehicle I observed a female in the driver’s seat looking down, this female was the sole occupant of the vehicle. I exited my cruiser and approached the vehicle which was running. It should be noted that up to this point, the operator took no notice of my presence, her attention was downward toward a cell phone and I had to knock on the window to gain the her attention.

Upon the operator lowering the driver’s window, I immediately instructed her to turn the vehicle off and place the keys on the dashboard. The operator said “what is this all about” and shut the car off, the ignition was a push button style, with a key fob. I could immediately detect a strong odor of alcohol and noticed her eyes to be glassy, she spoke in a slow and lethargic manner as if she had to search for words. I additionally observed, in plain sight, an open container of Bud-Light beer in the center dashboard console. Due to the vehicle having the ability to be re-started, I asked the operator to hand over the keys in order to fully secure it. She stated that she did not know where the keys were. In order to ensure the operator would not be able to re-start the vehicle and driver away, I instructed her to step out of the vehicle; upon the door opening, I observed a second open Bud-Light beer can located in the driver’s door cup holder. Upon exiting the vehicle, the operator took one step towards the rear of the vehicle and began to stumble towards the roadway, she had to grab ahold of the vehicle and my arm to re-gain her balance.

East-3, Officer Sousa arrived on scene, officers instructed the operator to produce her Driver’s License, she retrieved her wallet from her purse located on the passenger seat of the vehicle. The operator then produced a work ID, upon instructing her again to produce a Driver’s License, she had trouble moving her way through her wallet and produced a credit card. Upon the third attempt, she was able to produce her license, positively identifying her as Linda Cardalino.

I then asked Cardalino to take a field sobriety test, to which she agreed. I asked her if she had any contact lenses in her eyes or if she had any medical problems which would prevent her from completing the tests. Cardalino declined any contacts in her eyes and stated she is a cancer patient. She then informed me that she is on medications; she stated that she had taken her medication as prescribed earlier in the afternoon. Officer Sousa and I de-activated our front facing emergency lights and lead Cardalino to the sidewalk which was wet due to earlier rain, the area was flat, relatively even and fairly well lit; we utilized our flashlights to provide supplemental lighting. Cardalino needed to grab hold of a parking meter in order to step up onto the sidewalk without falling, additionally she was holding onto her cell phone, officers instructed her to place her cell phone into her pocket, Cardalino had to make several attempts at doing so before she was able to secure her phone in her jacket pocket.

I read instructions to Cardalino from a card I carry, Officer Sousa demonstrated the tests while I read the instructions, throughout which time Cardalino began the tests despite being told to wait for all the instructions. This occurred several times throughout all tests, causing officers to have to pause and repeat instructions.

The first test which I administered was the One Leg Stand test:

I instructed Cardalino to stand with her heels together and arms by her side, raise one leg approximately six inches off the ground, foot parallel to the ground, keep both legs straight and keep eyes on the elevated foot while counting out loud: one thousand-one one thousand-two, one thousand-three and so on until told to stop.

Once told to begin, Cardalino was unable to lift either foot off the ground and had to swing her arms outward in order to maintain her balance while attempting to lift a foot off the ground. She stated to officers that “she had poor balance.”

Officers then instructed her to move to the shoulder of the street where a straight white painted line was in place. This area was protected from traffic by Officer Sousa’s police cruiser. The next test which I administered was the Walk and Turn test:

I instructed Cardalino to place her left foot on the line and put her right foot in front of it, with her right heel touching her left to and to keep her hands by her side, then take nine heel-to-toe steps on the line, turn around keeping one foot on the line and return nine heel-to-toe steps.

Once told to begin Cardalino stumbled down the line, took ten steps and returned again taking ten steps. At no point did her heels and toes connect, and all throughout she had to hold her arms upward and outward to maintain her balance. Twice during this test it appeared as if she was going to fall. Upon completing this test, Cardalino stated to officers “I’ve had a few”.

The final test I administered was the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN):

I instructed Cardalino to follow my stimulus with her eyes only and not move her head. During this test I observed a lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes, distinct and sustained Nystagmus in both eyes. Several times throughout this test, Cardalino moved her head while following the stimulus and had to be instructed to keep her head still.

Based on my observations, I placed Cardalino under arrest for OUI Liquor. She was transported back to the station via Unit-200, Officer Justin Brown, where she was booked by Lt. DeOliveira.

The vehicle was towed from the scene. During the inventory process, I recovered the two aforementioned Bud-Light cans. The can in the dashboard center console was half full, the can in the driver’s side door cup holder was empty and a third, open and mostly full, Bud-Light can was recovered inside Cardalino’s purse. The can’s with beer in them were still cold to the touch and have been entered into evidence. Fresh scrapes were noticed on the front passenger fender as well as the rear passenger fender. Parked on the side of the road adjacent to Cardalino’s vehicle was a 2010 Mazda 5. This vehicle contained a fresh scrape on the driver’s side door at approximately the same height as the scrape on the front fender of Cardalino’s vehicle. It is unknown if the two vehicles came into contact with one another.

During the booking process Lt. DeOliveira asked Cardalino to submit to a chemical test of her breath, to which she agreed. Officer Canty administered this test; during the test, Cardalino was unable to properly complete the breathalyzer process resulting in the machine to render an error message. She was given four attempts, all of which were unsuccessful, resulting in a refusal test result.

Cardalino was issued Uniform Citation R8608574 for Chapter 90 Section 24, OUI Liquor and Chapter 90 Section 24I Possess Open Container in Motor Vehicle.

I would lastly like to note that the BATS completion record shows positive for Bloodshot Eyes and Slurred Speech. This was a clerical error for these two categories and could not be corrected. I corrected these by hand and initialed the report.

Respectfully submitted,

Officer Michael Marra #338

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