WESTPORT — On December 10th, 2017, at approximately 7:35 p.m., a motor vehicle stop on Gifford Road led to the arrest of 35-year-old Raymond Morin of 16 Helen Street, Acushnet on drugged driving charges.

Officer Jarrod Levesque observed a vehicle traveling west on State Road with its left directional on for several hundred feet, passing four possible turn-offs or breaks in the median. The vehicle was traveling approximately 28 miles per hour in a posted 55 MPH road. Once at the intersection of Gifford Road and State Road, the operator then turned south onto Gifford Road. Just as he passed the driveway to CVS, Mr. Morin abruptly stopped his vehicle in the travel lane, blocking the road.

Officer Levesque approached the driver, who lowered the window and a cloud of marijuana smoke plumed from the vehicle. There were also marijuana crumbs and residue in his lap. He had difficulty producing his RMV documents and was instructed to exit the vehicle to perform roadside assessment tests. He told the officer he had smoked a marijuana blunt (hollowed-out cigar filled with marijuana). The driver failed these assessments and was placed under arrest.

Inside his vehicle, officers located a small quantity of marijuana in a Tupperware container. Officer Levesque is one of a small number of Nationally Trained Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) that are located in Massachusetts. He completed an in-depth evaluation of Mr. Morin. Those indicators of drug impairment include the presence of body tremors, eye lid tremors, poor perception of time and distance, dilated pupils, elevated blood pressure, elevated pulse and poor completion of hand eye coordination assessments. Not unlike Field Sobriety Tests with alcohol consumption, a DRE is trained to focus on drug related impairment. "

"DRE’s are becoming more valuable in recent months, since marijuana legalization has increased recreational drug use, which has carried over to an increase locally of drugged driving," Detective Jeff Majewski said.

Mr. Morin was charged with operating under the influence of drugs and charged with a $500 violation for having an open container of marijuana inside a vehicle. Operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous, and motorists are asked to contact their local police immediately if they observe a suspected impaired driver.

--Westport Police

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