OUI Massachusetts Suspect Drive Alcohol Smell Attorneys Franklin County
COMMONWEALTH vs. PETER
As Officer Monteiro left the scene, he saw a vehicle exit the driveway of the home in the same direction as Officer Perna. Suspecting that the defendant was driving while intoxicated, he stopped the vehicle. Officer Monteiro noticed that the defendant was, in fact, the driver; he smelled of alcohol; his eyes were glassy; his speech was slow, thick-tonged, and slurred; and he was inappropriately dressed for the weather. Defendant failed the field sobriety tests. The officer then arrested the defendant. During booking, the defendant acted belligerently toward the officers, although he was able to answer all their questions. Upon this evidence, a District Court jury convicted the defendant of operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor in violation of G. L. c. 90, § 24(1)(a)(1), which a judge later determined was his fourth offense.
- Whether reasonable suspicion was lacking to justify Officer Monteiro’s stop?
- Whether insufficient evidence supported his conviction?
- Whether Officer Monteiro’s testimony that he failed certain sobriety tests was improperly admitted?
The judge credited Officer Monteiro’s testimony that just prior to the stop (1) the defendant smelled of alcohol, slurred his speech, and was uncooperative; and (2) that only the defendant remained in the single-family home when the vehicle departed from its driveway after the scene was cleared. Based on these specific and articulable facts, the judge properly concluded that the officer had reasonable suspicion that the defendant was driving while intoxicated.
In the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, the judge could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating liquor based on the ample evidence furnished by the police witnesses. Officer Monteiro’s testimony that the defendant had failed two field sobriety tests amounts to no more than mere percipient testimony that his performance of those tests was inadequate. The stop of the defendant was premised on reasonable suspicion; there was sufficient evidence of his intoxication; and testimony that he failed two sobriety tests was properly admitted.
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Article written by A Sris
These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.