Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Paul MCGOWAN (OUI Liquor, Alcohol from Open Container)

On Monday, February 4, 2019 while on full uniform patrol in marked unit Sector East, I (Officer Patrick Canty) was on a motor vehicle stop at XX Union Square. I had pulled over a motor scooter for a marked lane violation. I had my marked police cruiser pulled to the side of the road and had my blue lights activated. I was outside of my vehicle speaking with the driver of the motor scooter, when a gray sedan crashed into the back of my cruiser.

The car, MA Tag XXXX, stopped slightly in front of my cruiser. I released the operator of the motor scooter with a warning and approached the driver of the striking vehicle. When I got to the car, I met the driver, later identified as Paul McGowan. I asked Mr. McGowan if he was ok. He stated yes. I asked Mr. McGowan if he needed an ambulance and he replied by asking me why he would need an ambulance. I asked for Mr. McGowan’s Driver’s License. Mr. McGowan looked at me confused. I again asked for his Driver’s License. Mr. McGowan stared straight ahead for several moments. I was able to get Mr. McGowan’s attention again, and he took out a hand full of cash and started going through it. I told Mr. McGowan I needed his Driver’s License, he reached back into his pocket and got it. I then stated he had just struck my police cruiser, and he stated “Don’t be like that”.

Mr. McGowan’s speech was slurred and I could smell the odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath. While speaking to him, I noticed his eyes were red and glossy. I asked Mr. McGowan if he had been drinking and he stated he had 2 drinks. I again asked Mr. McGowan if he would like any medical attention and he stated No. Officer Alex Lorenti, is ARIDE certified and arrived on scene.

Officer Lorenti asked Mr. McGowan to perform Field Sobriety Tests, and Mr. McGowan complied. Officer Lorenti asked Mr. McGowan to step out of his car. Mr. McGowan almost fell over as he exited his car. Officer Lorenti had to extend his arms to catch him. Mr. McGowan stumbled to the curb and was very unsteady on his feet. McGowan was brought to a flat well lit part of the sidewalk. Officer Lorenti asked McGowan if he had been drinking. McGowan stated he had drank 4 drinks. Officer Lorenti asked McGowan if he had any medical issued that would prevent him from taking the test and he stated no, he was just old.

Officer Lorenti started with the Horizontal Nystagmus test. He explained to McGowan to follow the tip of his pen with only McGowan’s eyes. McGowan failed this test. He moved his head continuously and was falling off balance. Officer Lorenti then asked Mr. McGowan to perform the 9 step walk and turn. Officer Lorenti Asked McGowan to place his feet on the straight line in the sidewalk, while Officer Lorenti could explain the test directions. Mr. McGowan continued to fall off balance. Officer Lorenti stopped the test because it was unsafe for McGowan do to the fact he could not stand safely. McGowan stated “You guys got me dead to rights, nothing I can do”.

Based on Officer Lorenti’s expert opinion, I placed Mr. McGowan under arrest for OUI Subsequent Offense. He was placed in handcuffs(double Locked) and transported by the Transport Wagon 200 (Officer Sergio Costa) to the Somerville Police Station. He was booked in the usual manner by the Commander (Lt Richard Lavey).

Mr. McGowan refused The Breathalyzer Test.

Upon Further investigation, an open container of 750 ml Alto de Carmen Pisco was found on the front seat of Mr. McGowan’s Car. The car was then towed by Pat’s Tow company. During the booking process it was discovered this was a second OUI offense for Mr. McGowan, the first was 1/19/1993 out of Cambridge District Court.

Respectfully submitted,

Officer Patrick Canty 306

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