On the Friday after Thanksgiving 2020, SP, a 32 year old electrical engineer from Dorchester, and his girlfriend spent the day visiting with family and friends. The last stop was with family in Haverhill where they visited from about 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm. They left the house in Haverhill and headed back toward Boston. SP was driving and his girlfriend, who had had quite a bit to drink, quickly fell asleep. As SP was driving down I-93 South a State Police Officer was at the side of the road operating a lidar speed gun. SP was timed at 81 mph. The trooper began a pursuit and got behind SP and put on his blue lights. SP moved from the left lane across the middle lane to the right lane. According to the Trooper SP hesitated and finally pulled into the breakdown lane and stopped. According to the Trooper SP had traveled 1/2 mile after being signaled to stop before finally coming to a stop.
The Trooper then approached the passenger side of the vehicle and immediately observed an open 12 pack of White Claw alcoholic seltzer on the floor of the front passenger seat and he noticed an open 12 oz. can of Seltzer leaning against the center console on the passenger side. The passenger was sleeping but awoke when the trooper knocked his flashlight against the window and shined the light inside the car. SP put the passenger window down and the Trooper immediately noticed a strong odor of liquor coming form the car. According to the Trooper SP’s “eyes were glassy and red and he spoke with a thick tongue in a very slow demeanor as if he was heavily contemplating his response prior to answering any questions”. When the Trooper asked SP where they were coming from the Trooper wrote in his report that SP “looked at me with a blank stare on his face”. The Trooper asked SP to step from the vehicle and according to the Trooper SP stated “What if I don’t?” The Trooper then opened the car door and SP got out. According to the Trooper SP was unsteady and lethargic as he walked. The Trooper placed SP under arrest and placed him in the back of the police cruiser. Upon arrival at the State Police Barracks in Andover, SP was removed from the police car and brought up the flight of stairs to the rear entrance into the station. According to the Trooper as SP climbed the stairs he bounced “his left shoulder off the wall for balance near the top of the staircase”. SP was then booked, fingerprinted, refused the breath test, and was subsequently released. His girlfriend had also been brought to the barracks. She called her parents (in Mendon, MA!) who drove up to Andover to post the $40 bail and pick up their daughter and SP. They all left the station.
SP went to Lawrence District Court the following Monday where he was arraigned and his case was continued for a pre-trial hearing. SP sought out a lawyer. SP met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately filed a Motion for copies of all recordings made by the police – all body cams, all dash cams, and all videos from the police station. There were no body cams and there were no dash cams. But there was a video from the booking room. The booking room video was an hour and eight minutes long. It was silent; no sound. It began when SP entered the booking room from the top of the stairs and it ends with SP leaving the booking room to exit the station. Attorney Lewin watched and studied the video. It was EXCELLENT. When SP stood and walked there was NO unsteadiness. He sat – in words that Attorney Lewin used during the trial – like a Sphinx. He did not fidget or sway or move. Attorney Lewin also interviewed SP’s girlfriend’s parents as they would be witnesses during the trial. Due to there not being any jury trials due to covid, the trial weas delayed, but finally took place on December 15, 2021 in Courtroom 5 in Lawrence District Court. In the week leading up to the trial Attorney Lewin had two trial prep sessions with SP and his girlfriend (via zoom) and one trial prep session with SP’s girlfriend’s parents. Attorney Lewin practiced with all of them and advised them of the types of questions they would be asked by the DA. This avoids any surprises.