Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Carlos ALVAREZ (OUI Liquor)

On Sunday, 3/7/21, I was working my assigned 4PM to 12AM shift in the East-1 cruiser. At approximately 9:51PM, Officer Brian Pavao (East-4) and I, were dispatched to 193 Broadway for a report of a driver passed out behind the wheel of a Honda, with two kids in the back seat. The following is a summary of the incident:

Upon arrival, we noticed a Honda SUV, bearing a Massachusetts registration of XXXX, parked halfway between the lane of travel and the parking spot. I approached the vehicle to find Mr. Carlos Alvarez passed out behind the wheel, with two juveniles in the back seat, playing a video game. The two juveniles are XXXX (JV1) and XXXX (JV2).

I banged on the front passenger window a couple times to try to wake Mr. Alvarez up. When Mr. Alvarez woke up, he opened the door then put the car in drive, while the door was open. I ordered Mr. Alvarez out of the car.

Mr. Alvarez stumbled out of the car and remained unsteady on his feet as he tried to walk and talk. I asked him what was going on but he was heavily slurring his speach as he spoke. Eventually, he was able to tell me that he came from a friend’s house but he could not say the friend’s name, just that he lived on Somerville Avenue, near Market Basket. I asked Mr. Alvarez if anyone was injured, he said no and kept insisting that he was just going to drive home now. The entire time he was talking, he was unable to stand up without stumbling. I asked him if he had been drinking tonight, to which he answered that he drank yesterday. He tried to walk to show me that he had not been drinking but was falling over while walking.

I asked Mr. Alvarez to perform some field sobriety tests (FSTs), to show me that he had not been drinking, to which he agreed. I would respectively note that I am certified in standardized FSTs. The tests were administered on a dry, flat, paved road, free from defects. The area was also well lit because Officer Pavao turned on the scene lights to the cruiser to light the area.

The first standardized FST that I conducted was the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. Officer Pavao observed the FSTs as well. I read the directions for the test from a card that I carry on my person. After the directions, I asked Mr. Alvarez if he understood, to which he said yes. While checking for lack of smooth pursuit, Mr. Alvarez continuously moved his entire head. I repeated the directions to him multiple times, instructing him that he could not move his head, just his eyes. At that point, he moved his eyes from left to right before I even moved the pen. While checking for Nystagmus at maximum deviation, Officer Pavao and I both observed distinct and sustained Nystagmus at maximum deviation in the both the left and the right eyes. We also observed the onset of Nystagmus prior to 45 degrees on both eyes. I was unable to check for vertical gaze Nystagmus because Mr. Alvarez was unable to follow the directions. I did not observe resting Nystagmus in either eye.

The next test that I administered was the walk and turn test. For this test, we used the solid white line on the ground. I then read Mr. Alvarez the directions for the walk and turn test from a card that I carry on my person. I asked Mr. Alvarez if he understood, to which he stated that he did. During the directions, I demonstrated the directions and again asked Mr. Alvarez if he understood, to which he said yes. During the test, Officer Pavao and I noticed the following: (1) Mr. Alvarez was flailing his arms for balance the entire time; (2) He stepped off of the line several times; (3) He skipped number 6 on the second set of steps; (4) He went from number 9 to 10 on the second set of steps; (5) improper turn.

The next test performed was the one leg stand. I read the instructions off of a card that I carry on my person. After the instructions, I asked Mr. Alvarez if he understood the instructions, to which he said yes. Mr. Alvarez was unable to perform this test. He could not hold his leg up for one second without stumbling over. He made multiple attempts and was unsuccessful. He was flailing his arms. At that point, I ended the test for his own safety. I felt that if he continued, he might have fallen over and injured himself.

I asked Mr. Alvarez to call his wife, and the mother of the children, Mrs. XXXX. He stumbled with his phone, at one point holding it upside down to try and make the call. We made multiple attempts on scene to contact Mrs. XXXX but her phone was going straight to voicemail. Officer Pavao tried to call Mrs. XXXX from his phone but was getting the same response.

I called for Unit 200, the prisoner transport wagon. Officer Pavao informed Mr. Alvarez that we would wait to place handcuffs on him until after I left the scene with JV1 and JV2. I explained to Mr. Alvarez that he was being placed under arrest for operating under the influence and explained to him that I would be taking the children to the Somerville Police Station while we awaited the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Before departing, I asked Mr. Alvarez again how much he had to drink. This time, he stated that he had around 8 to 10 beers.

Mr. Alvarez’s Honda was towed by Pat’s towing.

Mr. Carlos Alvarez was placed under arrest. I issued him a Massachusetts Uniform Citation (#T1316841) and charged him with Massachusetts General Law C. 90 s. 24/J: Operating Under the Influence of Liquor. He was transported back to the Somerville Police Station by Officer Robert Anaya. Once at the station, he was placed into holding while officers tried to contact Mrs. XXXX.

At the station, Mr. Alvarez was booked by Lieutenant Diogo DeOliveira. Lt. DeOliveira informed Mr. Alvarez of all his rights. Mr. Alvarez agreed to take a Blood Alcohol Test (BAT), conducted by Officer Ryan Sullivan. The result of the BAT was 0.13% blood alcohol concentration, which is more the legal limit of 0.08%. The original OUI documents were then placed into evidence in the usual manner.

I filed a 51A report with XXXX. from DCF. I called Quincy Police Department to go by Mrs. XXXX home to inform her but there was no answer. After numerous attempts, Mrs. XXXX answered and agreed to come pick up the children. She arrived at the Somerville Police Station around 12:15AM, which was around the same time that DCF arrived. DCF cleared her to take the children home. A 51A was faxed to 781-794-4507, as directed by DCF.

DCF informed me that Mrs. XXXX stated that Mr. Alvarez was at Sally O’Brien’s Bar and Grill (335 Somerville Ave. Somerville), where he had many beers.

Respectfully Submitted,
Ofc. Priscilla Ribeiro #349
Somerville Police Department

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