CLINTON – On Wednesday, April 5, 2023, at about 9:37 p.m., Officer Matthew Champagne of the Clinton Police Department was dispatched to the Clinton Bar & Grille on High Street after a manager called in to report that a heavily intoxicated woman had left the establishment in her vehicle. The manager added that before leaving, the woman tried to pay her bill with a playing card.
(The account and quotations contained in this article were taken from the Personnel Narrative of Officer Champagne.)
“It was also stated that the female was recently kicked out of Simple Man Saloon, another restaurant located on High Street, for her impaired behavior,” Officer Champagne said.
The manager told police the woman drove off in a red Mazda SUV, she also got the vehicle’s license plate number and gave that to police as well.
“Minutes after receiving the call, while traveling north on Main Street, I took notice of a red Mazda backing out of a parking spot of Domino’s located at 610 Main Street in the Town of Clinton,” Officer Champagne said. “At this time, I pulled up behind the vehicle, which was confirmed to be a red Mazda bearing Massachusetts registration [# redacted], and activated my emergency blue lights. The vehicle then was placed into drive and pulled back into a parking spot in the Domino’s lot.”
Officer Champagne approached the driver side of the vehicle, where he was met with the operator, later identified as Kerry Bart-Raber, a 63-year-old resident of Griffin Road in Sterling.
While explaining the reason for the stop, Officer Champagne caught a whiff of alcohol coming from Bart-Raber’s Mazda SUV.
“I noticed an odor of alcoholic beverage emitting from the vehicle. Bart-Raber also had red glossy eyes, and was slurring her speech as she engaged in conversation,” Officer Champagne said. “When asked how much she had to drink tonight, Bart-Raber responded that she did not have anything to drink and immediately began blaming the staff of Clinton Bar & Grille for the reason of the stop. During this time, Bart-Raber was searching for her license, which took multiple attempts to find, and her movements were very slow while doing so. At this time Officers Shane Gilman and Brian O’Malley arrived on scene.”
Officer Champagne asked Bart-Raber if she would take a field sobriety test and she agreed.
While Officer Champagne administered the sobriety tests, two Domino’s employees approached Officer O’Malley and told him what transpired with Bart-Raber at their establishment.
“Both stated that Bart-Raber entered Domino’s and stated that she thinks she is in trouble, ‘the police are looking for me, I drank 17 beers,’” Officer Champagne said.
After failing three field sobriety tests, Bart-Raber was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor and her license was suspended.
Following her booking at the Clinton Police Department, Bart-Raber agreed to take a breathalyzer test and failed both attempts.
Disclaimer: If you are wondering why the incident in this story was from April, that’s because I had to file FOIA request(s) to get the court documents for the incident. FOIAs are time consuming and I can’t write them up all at once.