Real Life Somerville Police Stories:OUI Liquor Arrest

On December 12th, 2022, at 11:57pm, Somerville Police Control received a call that a silver sedan (unknown plate number) was stopped in the middle of the street near the intersection of Temple and Ten Hills Road and had been idling for a few minutes. I, Officer Barton, assigned to marked unit East 4, along with Officer Morel, assigned to marked unit East 1, were dispatched to that location.

While en route, the same Reporting Party called Somerville Police Control again and stated that the driver was a female and appeared uneasy on her feet. Units E1 & E4 were updated with this information.

Upon my arrival, Officer Morel was already on-scene and speaking to the suspect, later identified as Alexis ORCHARD. Officer Morel stated that based on his training and experience, he recognized the operator of the vehicle (ORCHARD) to be intoxicated. Officer Morel then informed me that upon his arrival, ORCHARD was sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, with the car running as he approached her.

As I began my approach towards ORCHARD, I immediately noticed that ORCHARD’s vehicle (MA #XXXX) was stopped in the middle of the street, still running with the hazard lights on, partially blocking both the road and a driveway. The vehicle was also facing the wrong way up a one-way street. (Temple Road). I would like to note that Temple Road is a public way located in Somerville defined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I used my flashlight to further inspect the vehicle and noticed that the front-right and rear-right tires were both flat and the right side of the car was slanted down, resting on the rims.

I would also like to note that ORCHARD was already outside of her vehicle when I arrived because according to Officer Morel, she offered to exit the vehicle and “prove it” that she was not intoxicated. Officer Morel mentioned that as ORCHARD exited the vehicle on her own accord, she immediately fell backwards, catching herself on the mid-section of her car.

When I finally approached ORCHARD, before I could introduce myself, she began behaving tumultuously by loudly slurring her words as she stated that “As a Black Female in America, [she knew her] rights.” It was during that behavior that I smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her person.

As ORCHARD quieted down, I noticed her eyes were bloodshot and glassy. I then asked her where she was coming from and she stated “XXXX.” I asked her if it was the location in Assembly and she responded “yes” and that she was a bartender there. As ORCHARD was answering my questions, she was continuously stumbling over herself and was having trouble standing up straight.

It should be noted that XXX is a cocktail bar located at XXX Assembly Row in Somerville.

I then asked ORCHARD if she had consumed any alcoholic beverages while she was at XXXX and she stated, “Yes, two.”

I then informed ORCHARD that due to the fact that both Officers Morel and I could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her breath, her glassy and bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and difficulty remaining upright, that I was going to put her through a Standardized Field Sobriety Test, to which she gladly agreed.

Since her vehicle was located on a slight slope on Temple Road, I moved her to the top of the hill where the uneven conditions of where her car was less likely to play a factor in her performance.

I would like to note that the conditions of where ORCHARD performed the Standardized Field Sobriety Test was even-leveled, dry, illuminated by both the street lights and my personal flashlight, cold and not windy. ORCHARD was wearing thick-soled winter boots during this test.

Using my Law Enforcement Dimensions Standardized Field Sobriety Test Field Card, I brought ORCHARD through the events of the tests.

I began with the “Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus” test and asked her if she wore any contact lenses, to which she replied “no”. I then used the tip of my note-taking pen as the stimulus, illuminated more directly by my personal flashlight. I asked ORCHARD if she could clearly see the tip of my pen and she replied “yes.” I then instructed ORCHARD to follow the tip of the pen with only her eyes and without moving her head or body, to which she stated that she understood. I positioned my pen roughly 12″ away from ORCHARD’s face and slightly above her eye level. I moved my pen from the center of her face to her left side first, checking for equal tracking. ORCHARD was unable to keep her head still and follow only with her eyes. I told her again to follow with her eyes only and she stated that she understood. Again, she failed to follow the directions given. I instructed her a third time that she was supposed to only move her eyes and not her whole head and finally, she was able to follow the directions. I found that both of ORCHARD’s pupil sizes and tracking were proper. I then checked for resting Nystagmus, which I did not find.

After that, with my pen, again located roughly 12″ from ORCHARD’s face and slightly above eye-level, I checked for a lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes, by having her follow the tip of my pen. I found the lack of smooth pursuit in both ORCHARD’s left and right eye. I then double checked and confirmed my findings.

Next, I performed the test to determine whether ORCHARD had Distinct and Sustained Nystagmus at Maximum Deviation. I was able to find that both of her eyes displayed the signs.

Finally, I tested for Onset of Nystagmus prior to 45°, to which I found that both her left and right eyes displayed the signs at roughly 39°.

Based on the testing, I concluded that ORCHARD demonstrated 6 out of 6 clues put forth to prove intoxication for that portion of the SFST. (Only 4 are needed).

I then administered the Walk and Turn Test. I explained to ORCHARD what the test was, and demonstrated it to her and she claimed that she understood fully. I would like to note that it took ORCHARD seven (7) times of my explaining that she needed to begin the test with her right heel touching her left toe to begin. I immediately noticed that she could not keep her balance during the Instructional Stage of this test and also began the test too soon twice. I asked her again if she understood the instructions and if she needed me to demonstrate it once more, to which she refused the demonstration but again stated that she understood. ORCHARD did not stop walking through the test, but I noted that she stepped out of line with her left foot on steps 5 and 7, and stepped out of line with her right foot on steps 2 and 4. ORCHARD took the correct amount of steps but missed her heel-to-toe touch by more than 6″ on steps 1,2,4,5,7, and 8. ORCHARD had her arms raised more than 6″ for nearly all of the steps. ORCHARD did not make an improper turn.

Based on the testing, I concluded that ORCHARD demonstrated 5 out of the 8 clues put forth to prove intoxication for that portion of the SFST. (Only 2 are needed).

Finally, I administered the One Leg Stand test, where I first explained and then demonstrated how the test should be completed. ORCHARD stated that she understood. It should be noted that ORCHARD put her right foot down for balance on her number count of 1,4,6,7,8,11,13,14, and 16. ORCHARD was swaying for balance for the entire test along with using her arms for balance more than 6″ away from her body. ORCHARD did not “hop” at all because when she felt like she was losing balance, she would just put her foot down instead. It should be noted that ORCHARD counted until “22 one-thousand”.

Based on the testing, I concluded that ORCHARD demonstrated 3 out of the 4 clues put forth to prove intoxication for that portion of the SFST. (Only 3 are needed).

I then decided to perform an “additional observation” test and asked ORCHARD to count backwards starting from 75 and stopping on 62. I asked her if she understood and she stated “yes”. I then told her that she could begin when she was ready. It should be noted that ORCHARD counted backwards until 49 before I asked her to stop.

Based on the facts that ORCHARD was sitting in the driver’s seat, with the car running, her continuous slurred speech, lack of balance, the odor of alcoholic beverage coming from her, the glassy and bloodshot eyes that she possessed, and the three failed SFST tests given to her, I decided to place Alexis ORCHARD under arrest for the following offenses;

M.G.L c90 / § 24 OUI LIQUOR

It was at this time that I contacted Somerville Police Control, requesting a tow truck for ORCHARD’s vehicle and for Unit 200 to transport ORCHARD to Somerville Police Headquarters for booking, located at 220 Washington Street. Unit 200 was operated by Officer Radochia and ORCHARD was booked by Lt. DeOliveira.

It should be noted that ORCHARD refused a chemical test to determine blood alcohol concentration.

Prior to Export Tow taking the ORCHARD’s vehicle, Officer Morel and I did an inventory of the vehicle’s belongings and it should be noted that Officer Morel found an unfinished Dr. McGillicuddy’s nip in the back seat.

That evidence will be properly tagged and stored.

ORCHARD will be receiving Massachusetts Uniform Citation T3067804 for the following offenses:

– Ch. 90/24 – Operating Under the Influence

I will also be filing a Criminal Complaint for ORCHARD for the above mentioned charges as well.


Officer Barton #367
Somerville Police Department

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