On Thursday, February 28, 2019, I was assigned to marked unit East-4 and on routine patrol. At approximately 11:34 PM, Somerville Dispatch received several 911 calls stating a driver had just struck multiple parked vehicles outside of 19X Central Street and had left the scene. Officers Fusco (East-1), Reece (East-3), Buswell (East-2) and O’Donnell (West-6) responded as backup. En-route, dispatch updated responding units that the vehicle took a right on Broadway, and was possibly a Jeep Liberty bearing MA registration xxxx. All streets listed in this report are public ways within the City of Somerville.
I proceeded westbound on Broadway from McGrath Highway, and noticed a vehicle matching that description with heavy font end damage, stopped in the middle of the road at the intersection of Broadway and School Street in front of the Winter Hill Bank. I updated dispatch and responding units and pulled behind the vehicle with my emergency lights activated. As I began to exit my cruiser, the vehicle drove away from me, forcing me to get back into my cruiser and activate the siren, at which point the vehicle stopped in front of the Citizens Bank shortly down the road. I would like to note that only approximately 30 seconds had elapsed since the initial 911 dispatch. In addition, the vehicle I stopped was a Jeep Liberty, bearing MA registration xxxx.
I approached the driver, later identified as Ms. Emily Reinauer, and asked her why her vehicle was damaged and in the middle of the roadway. She responded, “I think I hit a few cars.” When asked where she may have hit those cars, she stated, “School Street.” It should be noted that we were almost exactly at the intersection of Broadway and School Street, and Central Street where the accident had occurred was several streets away. Officer Buswell was able to head up to 19X Central Street and confirm there were 4 cars that were damaged, and several witnesses on scene. I asked Ms. Reinauer if she was injured and she confirmed she was not. As I was speaking with her, I detected the smell of an alcoholic beverage emanating from her breath. In addition, I noticed her eyes were glassy and slightly bloodshot. Ms. Reinauer was speaking very slowly and appeared to be staring off into the distance while answering questions. I asked her where she was coming from, and she told me a friend’s house on School Street and that she was now heading home. I asked her if she had anything to drink this evening and she said, “Two beers spaced an hour apart.” When asked how big the beers were, she said they were regular 12 ounce beers. I then stated to her that I believed she had too much to drink tonight. Based on this statement, Ms. Reinauer said, “Yes I think I have.” When asked again how many drinks she had, she now stated “4 beers.” I then asked her to step out of the vehicle and perform some field sobriety tests, to which she complied.
The weather was clear and cold, and the area where all the tests were conducted was on a flat dry surface in the Citizens Bank parking lot within the drive through ATM space. Initially when Ms. Reinauer exited the vehicle, she stumbled slightly, and Officer Fusco asked her to lean against the front of the car to regain herself. I asked Ms. Reinauer if she had any injuries or medical conditions that would prevent her from performing things such as walking, balancing, standing still or following directions – she stated she did not. Ms. Reinauer indicated she did normally wear glasses, but did not have them nor did she have contacts in. I verified that she could see me ok from the distance I was away from her (approximately 4 feet) and she stated yes. The tests were administered in this order, and the results as follow:
HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS (HGN)
Using my SFST card that I keep on my person, I read Ms. Reinauer instructions for the HGN testing. Ms. Reinauer acknowledged that she understood the instructions that I had read to her. I checked for resting Nystagmus and that her eyes were equally tracking. Next I checked for lack of smooth pursuit, which I noticed in both the left and right eye, indicating two clues of impairment. I then checked for distinct and sustained Nystagmus at maximum deviation. I also noticed this in both the left and right eye, indicating two more clues of impairment. I then checked for the onset of Nystagmus prior to forty five degrees, which I noticed in both the left and right eye, indicating two clues of impairment. In addition to this, Ms. Reinauer presented with slight vertical Nystagmus.
WALK AND TURN
The test was administered using an imaginary line on the ground. Using my SFST card that I keep on my person, I read Ms. Reinauer instructions for the walk and turn. After demonstrating the walk and turn test, I asked Ms. Reinauer if she understood the instructions to which she responded “yes.” Prior to beginning the test, Ms. Reinauer was having trouble standing in the starting position during the instructional phase. She used here arms for balance several times. During the first 9 steps, Ms. Reinauer stopped after step 4 to ask how many steps to take, which I reminded her was 9. Heel-to-toe was missed on steps 2, 4, 6 and 7 (greater than 1/2″ gap). She took 10 steps instead of the required 9, utilizing her arms for balance and stepping off the line several times. She then made an improper turn, stumbling as she attempted to pivot around her planted foot. During the returning 9 steps, Ms. Reinauer missed heel-to-toe on steps 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8 (greater than 1/2″). She once again took 10 steps instead of the required 9, using her arms for balance and stepping off the line several times.
ONE LEG STAND
Using my SFST card that I keep on my person, I read Ms. Reinauer instructions for the one leg stand. After demonstrating the one leg stand test, I asked Ms. Reinauer if she understood the instructions to which he responded “yes.” During the test I noticed that Ms. Reinauer was utilizing her arms for balance, and had to be reminded to keep her eyes on her raised foot. Ms. Reinauer began to sway, and placed her foot down several times within the first 5 seconds of her count. She continued to sway and use her arms for balance, counting “14 & 16” twice.
MODIFIED ROMBERG BALANCE TEST
For this test, Ms. Reinauer was asked to tilt her head back slightly, close her eyes and estimate the passage of 30 seconds. When she thought 30 seconds had passed, she was instructed to lean her head forward, open her eyes and say “done.” I noticed a sway side to side which at times exceeded 4-6 inches, and heavy eyelid tremors. When asked how she got to thirty seconds, she said she used the “Mississippi’s”
LACK OF CONVERGENCE
Ms. Reinauer was able to converge her eyes.
Based on the above stated results, along with my observations coupled with my training and experience, I placed Ms. Reinauer under arrest on the following charges:
M.L. c.90 S24 J – OUI Liquor
M.L. c.90 S24 E – Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle
M.L. c90 S24 C – Leaving Scene of Property Damage (4 counts)
During an inventory of the motor vehicle and in an attempt to locate her phone per her request, 2 mostly empty and 1 full bottle of Jack Daniels Whisky was located in her backpack on the front seat. Photographs of all the damaged vehicles along with the alcohol have been digitally attached to this report. The vehicle was towed from the scene per Melanie’s Law, and because it was also un-driveable. Ms. Reinauer was transported to the Somerville Police Station in Marked Unit 200 operated by Officer M. Canty. She was booked by the shift commander, Sergeant Marino. Ms. Reinauer was explained her rights and was presented with all the proper OUI documents, which have been logged into evidence. The breath test was administered by Officer Radochia, and the results came back that Ms. Reinauer had a blood alcohol content of 0.19 %, over twice the legal limit. She was issued MA Uniform Citation T1312604 for the above mentioned charges.
I conducted a follow-up at the accident scene where Officer Buswell had interviewed several witnesses, arranged for tows, and begun notifying owners of the damaged vehicles. Officer Buswell said that the following individuals had witnessed a portion of the accident: XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX and XXXX. All parties lived adjacent to the accident scene and describe a similar scene. Witnesses stated they either came outside or looked outside, and saw a car wedged between parked cars. They noted that the car was backing up then pulling forward, continually striking the parked vehicles. XXXX and XXXX were able to get 2 videos of the scene as it unfolded from their window. I reviewed the videos and was able to identify Ms. Reinauer and her vehicle. Those videos have been digitally attached to this report. As of the time of this report, all but 1 vehicle owner has been notified about the damage. I will be filing and accident report, and copies shall be provided to all parties upon request.
Officer Kevin Goulart #326