Heard: September 6, 2017.
received and sworn to in the Natick Division of the District
Court Department on May 27, 2014.
transfer to the Marlborough Division of the District Court
Department, the case was tried before Michael L.
D. Cohen for the defendant.
Walsh, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.
Present: Massing, Kinder, & Ditkoff, JJ.
defendant, Dejon Ross, appeals from his conviction of
negligent operation of a motor vehicle, G. L. c. 90, §
24(2) (a.) . Concluding that evidence of the defendant's
excessive speed at night on a narrow residential two-lane
road lined with trees, poles, and fences, after consuming
alcohol, was sufficient to show that he operated negligently
so that the lives or safety of the public might have been
endangered, we affirm.
23, 2014, at approximately 9:50 P..M., a police officer in
the town of Sherborn (town) observed the defendant driving a
red sedan, southbound on Western Avenue in the town, at a
high rate of speed. At the location in question, Western
Avenue is a public two-lane road with narrow, unpaved
shoulders and no breakdown lane. The road is lined by trees,
telephone poles, and residential fences along where the
incident occurred. The officer testified that the speed limit
was thirty-five miles per hour. Using radar, the officer
determined that the defendant was travelling at fifty miles
officer activated his police cruiser's lights, and the
defendant promptly pulled over to the side of the road. The
officer observed that the defendant was the driver and
noticed two other passengers in the sedan. When the defendant
lowered the driver's side window, the officer
"immediately detected . . . a strong odor of an
alcoholic beverage" and observed that the
defendant's eyes appeared "very glossy."
officer asked the defendant to get out of the vehicle and
then performed three field sobriety tests on
While conducting the sobriety tests, the officer observed
that the defendant (1) was unsteady during all three tests;
(2) repeatedly stated, "I couldn't even do this if I
was sober" while standing on one leg; (3) spoke in
"thick, " slurred language; and (4) emitted the
smell of alcohol as he spoke. The officer testified that, in
his opinion, the defendant failed to perform two sobriety
tests satisfactorily, and failed to perform a third test
defendant ultimately was tried by a jury on a complaint
charging him with (1) operating a vehicle while under the
influence of intoxicating liquor (OUI), G. L. c. 90, §
24(1) (a.) (1), and (2) negligent operation of a motor