Chelmsford man blocks traffic on High Street, fails 2 of 3 field sobriety tests, gets arrested for OUI
CLINTON – On Saturday, March 18, 2023, Officer Shane Gilman of the of Clinton Police Department was working patrol in the High Street section of town, when, at approximately 12:14 a.m., he observed a blue 2012 Lexus IS 250 parked in the middle of the road in front of the Simple Man Saloon, blocking the southbound lane of traffic.
“At this time, I pulled my cruiser up behind the motor vehicle and turned on my overhead-white, take down lights,” wrote Officer Gilman in his Narrative. “I approached the driver of the motor vehicle, later identified as Leon Gastonguay D.O.B. (07/06/1965) to check on his well-being and to ask if he could move along and not block the lane of travel. As I was speaking with Mr. Gastonguay, I could detect a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from inside the motor vehicle. I also observed Mr. Gastonguay slurring his speech during our conversation. I also took note that his were red, glassy, and bloodshot. It should be noted at this time the motor vehicle was running with the keys in the ignition.”
According to police, Gastonguay, 56, is a resident of Tuttle Road in Chelmsford.
When Officer Gilman asked Gastonguay what he was doing, he said that he was just “dropping off some friends.” When asked where he was coming from, he said the Simple Man Saloon, which happened to be directly across the street from where he was parked.
Officer Gilman then asked Gastonguay if he had anything to drink that evening. Initially, he said he did not, when asked a second time, he started off by saying he had one drink, then amended that to saying “he had a couple.”
After hearing this, Officer Gilman requested backup, and shortly thereafter, Officers Michael Fazio and Matthew Champagne arrived on scene to assist.
Officer Gilman then asked Gastonguay to exit his vehicle so he could conduct a field sobriety test “to make sure it was safe for him to drive.”
“I explained to him that I was going to conduct field sobriety tests on him, to which he agreed,” wrote Officer Gilman in his Narrative. “The first test I asked him to perform was the alphabet test. I asked Mr. Gastonguay how far he went in school, to which he stated, ‘I have a master’s degree.’ I asked if he knew the alphabet from start to finish. Mr. Gastonguay stated ‘yes.’ At this time, I explained to him that I would demonstrate the test. I asked him to keep his arms down by his side with his feet together and not to start the test until I was done demonstrating it. I also told him that he must say the alphabet from start to finish, not singing or rhyming it. I asked him if he understood these directions, to which Mr. Gastonguay stated, ‘yes.’ Mr. Gastonguay then began the test in which he was able to state the whole alphabet from start to finish. It should be noted that when Mr. Gastonguay was doing the test, I could detect the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath.”
The next test Officer Gilman asked Gastonguay to conduct was the “one-leg stand.” Officer Gilman instructed Gastonguay to lift one of his feet about six inches off the ground, while keeping his hands by his side and his eyes on his feet. He was also asked to count out loud until he was told to stop.
“It should be noted that during the instructional phase, Mr. Gastonguay started the test too early and I had to remind him not to start until I told him to,” explained Officer Gilman in his Narrative. “Mr. Gastonguay was also very unstable on his feet during the test, he was swaying his arms at a forty-five degree angle, and stadoing small hop steps to regain his balance. Mr. Gastonguay also counted to ten out loud three separate times, always putting his foot down on the number ten.”
After walking in a staggered line during the third test, the “nine-step walk and turn,” Officer Gilman said he determined Gastonguay had been operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. He then placed Gastonguay under arrest for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating liquor.
Back at the station, Gastonguay refused to take the breathalyzer. After booking, his license was suspended and seized.
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Disclaimer 2: If you are wondering why the incident in this story was from March (you’re an a$$hole that doesn’t understand my business model, just kidding🃏), that’s because I had to file FOIA request(s) to get the court documents for the incident. FOIAs are time consuming.