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Caroline Co. Sheriff’s Office Case Report Summary - Alcohol Influence Report, Heather Cook 9/10/10

On 09/10/10
I, Dfc. Reibly, was patrolling East on Preston Rd. in the area of Greenfield Ct., Preston, Caroline County, MD while operating moving radar. I observed a vehicle traveling West on Preston Rd. that appeared to be going significantly slower than the posted 50 mph speed limit. As I got closer to the vehicle I noticed the vehicle was riding on the shoulder of the roadway. I activated my Stalker (#5) radar unit and received a digital readout of 29 mph. I also noticed the vehicle was dragging something under the front passenger side of the car.

I conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. The vehicle was a 2001 green Subaru wagon with Maryland registration 56837BY. As I approached the vehicle I detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from within and the smell of burned rubber. I noted that the driver, who was alone, had vomit down the front of her shirt. I requested the driver’s license and registration. The driver was identified as Heather Elizabeth Cook. Cook stated that she was traveling from Canada to Hurlock, MD. Cook’s speech was slurred and her responses were slow. I asked her if she had consumed any alcohol prior to driving. Cook stated that she stopped in Pennsylvania and had a few alcoholic drinks.

I investigated the burned rubber smell and found the front passenger side tire to be completely shredded from the rim. (A later search did not find the tire or any parts of it) It appeared that Cook had been riding on the rim for some distance.

I asked Cook to exit her vehicle and perform a series of standardized field sobriety tests. Cook agreed and exited her vehicle. The following tests were explained and demonstrated to Cook, The results of said tests are as indicated:

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: Cook had a hard time following the stimulus (my finger). Cook kept moving her head instead of following my finger with her eyes only, as directed. Eventually, I was able to detect all six clues of impairment in both eyes, to include, lack of smooth pursuit, nystagmus present at maximum deviation, and nystagmus present prior to a 45 degree angle. She displayed equal tracking in both eyes.

Walk-and-turn: I had Cook position herself in the starting position. I advised her to remain in that position until I advised her to begin the test. Cook was very unstable and was only able to stay in that starting position for a fraction of a second before falling to her left, out of position. Due to Cook not being able to stand up straight without falling, she advised that she could not do the test and she discontinued it herself. A total of eight clues were detected for that test.

One Leg Stand: Cook advised she had no impairments that would preclude her from completing the test. I explained and demonstrated the test to Cook. Cook used her left foot to raise in the air and when she raised that foot, she lost her balance and fell to her left. She dropped her foot to the ground prior to falling to catch herself. Cook’s extremely intoxicated condition precluded her from completing the field sobriety tests. I believed that if Cook continued the testing, she might possibly injure herself, by possibly falling, so I discontinued that test for her safety. A total of four clues were present.

Preliminary Breath Test: .26 bac.

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Cook was placed under arrest on the suspicion of driving while impaired. She informed me that she had a bottle of wine and a fifth of Jameson whiskey in the vehicle, both of which were recovered from inside the vehicle. When I went back to the vehicle, on the passenger’s side, I observed a silver metal pipe, commonly used as a CDS smoking device, in plain view on the front seat. The smoking device was seized. I observed a multi-colored zippered pouch on the seat. I unzipped the pouch and inside it was two clear baggies containing a green-brownish vegetable matter. Due to my training, knowledge and experience, I recognized it to be marijuana. Those items were also seized. Cook was then mirandized and she freely waived her rights and agreed to speak with me without the assistance of an attorney. Cook admitted to smoking the marijuana and drinking the alcohol while driving from Canada. I read the DR-15 Advice of Rights in its entirety to Cook. Cook informed me that she wanted to submit to a breath test to determine her alcohol concentration. She was transported to the Easton MSP Barrack, where Cpl. Christopher Emerick administered the test. The results of the test were a .27 bac.

Cook was transported from Easton to CCSD where she was processed for the possession of the marijuana and paraphernalia. She was taken before a District Court Commissioner and given an initial appearance on the criminal charges. She was released on her personal recognizance.

The marijuana and paraphernalia have been packaged and submitted to the CCSD property room until it can be forwarded to the MSP crime lab for analysis.