Heard: September 11, 2018
Complaint received and sworn to in the Chelsea Division of
the District Court Department on August 31, 2015., The case
was tried before Matthew J. Nestor, J.
P. Lattimore for the defendant.
Christopher Boutin, Assistant District Attorney, for the
Present: Vuono, Agnes, & Henry, JJ.
in the Chelsea Division of the District Court Department
convicted the defendant of operating a motor vehicle while
under the influence of intoxicating liquor (OUI), third
offense, and operating a motor vehicle after his license had
been suspended as a result of a prior OUI
conviction. On appeal, the defendant claims that
the judge erred by allowing in evidence unredacted records of
the registry of motor vehicles (RMV), which contained
multiple references to his refusal to submit to a chemical
test. He also contends that the evidence was
insufficient to prove that he had notice his license had been
conclude that the failure to redact the RMV records was error
and requires us to reverse the judgment on the charge of OUI,
third offense. We also conclude that the Commonwealth failed
to prove notice to the defendant of his license suspension.
Consequently, judgment must enter for the defendant on the
charge of operating a motor vehicle after
August 28, 2015, at about 6:45 E.M., Officer Steven Launie of
the Revere police department was stopped in traffic on the
American Legion Highway in Revere. The defendant's
vehicle, a gray Toyota Camry, was in front of the officer.
After a few minutes, the defendant pulled out of the lane of
traffic onto the sidewalk and drove approximately 200 feet.
Officer Launie activated his emergency lights and followed
the defendant on the sidewalk, after which the defendant
turned into the parking lot of a liquor store, where he
parked without incident. Officer Launie parked behind the
Camry, got out of his cruiser, approached the defendant's
vehicle, and knocked on the driver's side window. The
defendant initially held up his hand indicating that the
officer should wait. Officer Launie knocked again and told
the defendant to roll down the window. The defendant did not
follow the officer's instruction. Instead, he opened the
vehicle door. Officer Launie instructed him to close the
door, and to remain in the automobile and roll down the
window. The defendant complied, and Officer Launie requested
his license and registration. The defendant produced a
Massachusetts identification card and stated that his girl
friend, who owned the vehicle, had his driver's license.
He could not find the vehicle's registration, despite
emptying the glove compartment in an effort to locate it.
During this exchange, Officer Launie smelled the odor of
alcohol and noticed that the defendant's movements were
slow. After the defendant removed his sunglasses, the officer
further observed that his eyes appeared glassy and bloodshot.
that the defendant had been driving while under the influence
of alcohol, Officer Launie decided to assess his sobriety and
asked him to step out of the vehicle and perform certain
tasks starting with the "one-leg stand" test. The
defendant said that he would not be able to perform the task
because he was not strong enough, and in fact, he performed
poorly. Next, the defendant was not able to walk nine steps
in a straight line and turn around. At this point, Officer
Launie formed the opinion that the defendant was under the
influence of alcohol and placed him under arrest. The
defendant was transported to the police station by another
officer, who had arrived on the scene to provide backup
defendant did not testify at trial. His defense, developed
through cross-examination and argument, was that his ability
to drive was not impaired. He asserted, through counsel, that
he drove on the sidewalk to avoid the traffic and that the
sidewalk was wide enough for vehicles. He also claimed that
vehicles often parked on that sidewalk and introduced
evidence -- two photographs -- to corroborate his claim.
Lastly, he argued that the Commonwealth failed to prove that
on August 28, 2015, he knew his license had been suspended.
The docket sheet ...