WESTPORT — Police arrested an Acushnet man on charges of driving under the influence of marijuana after a motor vehicle stop Monday night in Westport.
The arresting Westport officer, Jarrod Levesque, is a certified Drug Recognition Expert trained to focus on drug-related impairments, said Westport police Detective Jeff Majewski.
“DREs 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,” Majewski said in prepared remarks.
Majewski said Raymond Morin, 35, of 16 Helen St. in Acushnet, was charged with operating under the influence of drugs and issued a $500 dollar violation for having an open container of marijuana inside a vehicle.
Around 7:35 p.m. on Monday, Majewski said 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-mile-per-hour zone, Majewski said.
At the intersection of Gifford Road and State Road, Majewski said the operator turned south onto Gifford Road. Just as he passed the driveway to CVS, Morin then allegedly stopped his vehicle abruptly in the travel lane blocking the road.
Levesque approached the driver, who when he lowered the window “a cloud of marijuana smoke plumed from the vehicle.” Majewski said the officer also saw marijuana crumbs and residue in the driver’s lap.
Morin allegedly had difficulty producing his Registry of Motor Vehicle documents and was instructed to exit the vehicle to perform roadside assessment tests. Morin told the officer that he had smoked a marijuana blunt. He was arrested when he failed the sobriety tests, Majewski said.
Inside Morin’s vehicle, the police located a small quantity of marijuana in a Tupperware container, Majewski said.
Majewski said Levesque completed an in-depth evaluation of Morin. Majewski said indicators of drug impairment include the presence of body tremors, eyelid tremors, poor perception of time and distance, dilated pupils, elevated blood pressure, elevated pulse and poor completion of hand eye coordination assessments.