Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Joaquin ARIAS (OUI Liquor)

On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, at 12:05 A.M., I observed a red Toyota Corolla bearing Massachusetts registration XXXX stopped at the intersection of Lombardi way and Grand Union Blvd while the light was green.

The operator proceeded through the intersection and was unable to stay within the travel lane. When the vehicle reached the intersection of Grand Union Blvd., and Revolution Drive, it came to a complete stop while the light was green. The operator then made a left turn onto Revolution Drive from the center lane.

I activated my lights and stopped the vehicle on Revolution Drive. Officers Ruf and O’Donnell responded as backup. I approached the operator, later identified as Joaquin Arias and requested his license and registration. While talking to Arias, I detected a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, his speech was slurred; and his eyes were glassy and bloodshot. At the time of the stop, the temperature was 24 degrees Fahrenheit and Arias was not wearing a shirt.

I asked Arias if he consumed any alcohol, and he replied “I had one shot of Tequila”. I asked him where, and he replied “at a restaurant, I really don’t remember where.”

I asked Arias to step out of the vehicle and take a field sobriety test, to which he agreed. Prior to administering the test, Arias was given an opportunity to put a shirt and a jacket on. The test was administered on the side of the road, on a well-lighted, flat, non-slippery surface.

I asked Arias if he had any medical condition that would prevent him from taking the test and stated “No.”

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


During this test, I observed a lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes, distinct and sustained nystagmus in both eyes, and an angle of onset prior to 45 degrees in both eyes.

Walk and Turn test:

I instructed Arias to place his left foot on the line and put his right foot in front of it, with his right heel touching his left toe and keep his hands by his 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.

During the instructional phase, Arias lost his balance five times. Arias took eight steps, raised his arms to maintain balance, missed heel-to-toe in all eight steps, stepped off line three times, and made an improper turn. He then took ten steps back, missing heel-to-toe in all ten steps, and raised his arms to maintain balance.

One Leg Stand:

I instructed Arias to stand with his heels together and arms by his side, and 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, and while holding that position to count out loud; one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three, and so forth until told to stop.

While standing on his left foot, Arias raised his right foot for ten seconds and put it down, he swayed, and raised his arms for balance. He raised his right foot again for five seconds and put it down while raising his arms to maintain balance.

Modified Romberg Balance:

During this test, Arias was counting out loud until he reached the count of 25, he then said a prayer, and continued to count. This test was stopped after 90 seconds.

Based on my observations, I placed Arias under arrest for OUI Liquor. He was transported to the Somerville Police Headquarters via unit 200, operated by Officer Van Nostrand, and booked by Lieutenant deOliveira.

During the booking process, Lt. deOliveira advised Arias of his rights, and asked him to submit to a chemical test of his breath to which he agreed. Officer Radochia administered the test to Arias, with a test result of 0.17% BAC.

Arias was issued a notice of suspension for a chemical test failure, and his license was seized.

I issued Arias citation# R8605283 for marked lane violation and OUI liquor, and his vehicle was towed from the scene by Pats tow.

Respectfully submitted,

Officer Samir Messaoudi #312

Somerville Police Dept.

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