Extraterritorial OUI Arrest Ruled Valid By Appeals Court

On June 1st, 2010 the Appeals Court upheld an extraterritorial arrest for OUI in COMMONWEALTH vs. MARK A. RIEDEL 76 Mass.App.Ct. 911 (2010)

In reviewing the facts the court stated “The defendant appeals the legality of an extraterritorial stop effectuated in Brewster by an Orleans police officer, resulting in charges of operating while under the influence of intoxicating liquor (of which he was convicted), G. L. c. 90, § 24(1)(a), and operating negligently so as to endanger (of which he was acquitted), G. L. c. 90, § 24(2)(a). The defendant argues that because the officer did not subjectively believe the defendant committed any arrestable offenses in Orleans, he was not authorized to follow the defendant into Brewster in fresh and continued pursuit pursuant to G. L. c. 41, § 98A. Because the defendant’s actions, viewed objectively, gave the officer reason to believe the defendant committed an arrestable offense, we affirm the denial of the defendant’s motion to suppress.

The evidence of the defendant’s erratic driving was objectively sufficient to give a reasonable officer in Officer Davis’s position reason to believe the defendant had committed the arrestable offense of operating while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. See Commonwealth v. O’Hara, 30 Mass. App. Ct. 608, 610 (1991) (holding that the defendant’s speeds and marked lane violations at 3:00 A.M. were sufficient to give officer reason to believe the defendant was operating while under the influence of intoxicating liquor) [FN1]; Commonwealth v. Trudel, 42 Mass. App. Ct. 903, 904 (1997). The officer’s subjective belief is not dispositive; the circumstances are to be viewed objectively. “The issue is whether the facts and circumstances warranted the officer’s belief and pursuit, not whether the officer’s ‘feeling’ warranted his belief and pursuit. Commonwealth v. Gullick, 386 Mass. 278, 283 (1982).”Commonwealth v. O’Hara, supra at 610 n.2. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Hason, 387 Mass. 169, 175 (1982) (probable cause inquiry an objective test). Because an objective view of the defendant’s actions provided reason to believe he committed an arrestable offense, Officer Davis had the authority, under G. L. c. 41, § 98A, to pursue him into the neighboring jurisdiction.”


The case is in stark contrast to COMMONWEALTH vs. Joseph LIMONE.
No. 09-P-252.
June 22, 2010 in which the defendants stop was unlawful. The reasonable suspicion that an arrestable offense had occurred in his jurisdiction prior to following the defendant into the next was key here.

Attorney Ronald A. Sellon

About Attorney Ronald A. Sellon

Ronald A. Sellon is a licensed Attorney in the state of Massachusetts and U.S. District Court, Massachusetts as well as a Sergeant with a Municipal Police Department and U.S. military Veteran. Additionally, he has taught Criminal Procedure at the Massachusetts State Police Academy in New Braintree and has written a text on Criminal Procedure for police field training officer programs. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, was a 2008 recipient of the Massachusetts Coalition of Police (Mass C.O.P.) Presidents award and holds a Bachelors Degree in Law Enforcement, a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Administration, and a Juris Doctor Law Degree. Questions related to content material may be directed to RSellon@PoliceLegalPromotions.com
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