On Nov. 23 at about 11:10 p.m., Woonsocket Police officer David N. Bibeault was dispatched to the Hamlet Avenue bridge for a car crash with no reported injuries.
When he arrived, another officer had already begun interviewing one of the drivers involved, William Morgan, 59, of 5 Brooke Road, Boylston, MA. Morgan said he was driving his black 2004 Mercedes in the right lane traveling over the bridge toward the traffic light when his vehicle collided with another car traveling in the left lane toward him.
Morgan spoke slowly and forgot what he was saying several times, causing him to start over, according to Bibeault's report. Bibeault also observed Morgan to have bloodshot eyes, to smell strongly of alcohol and to sway in small circles as he stood. He also appeared to have trouble keeping his eyes open.
Bibeault also observed several empty bottles of Sutter Home wine on the passenger seat and floor of Morgan's vehicle. When Bibeault asked Morgan about this, the driver said he was in an alcohol recovery program and had had nothing to drink that day.
When Bibeault asked where he was coming from, Morgan said he was driving home from his daughter's house, but coudn't say where that was. He consented to field sobriety testing, which he did not pass, failing on two occasions to follow simple instructions during the test. He was arrested and read his rights.
The other driver, Andrew Palin, 25, of Woonsocket, said he was approaching the intersection of Hamlet Avenue and Cumberland Street when Morgan's car crashed into his car's passenger side. Palin's car had damage to its passenger side rear fender, passenger doors and front fender. Palin did not require medical treatment and drove his vehicle from the scene of the accident.
Morgan's car was towed from the scene by Roy's Towing. An inventory of Morgan's car turned up seven 187ml bottles of Sutter Home wine, five of which were empty. One of them was half empty; the other was unopened. Bibeault also found an empty Miller Lite can.
At police headquarters on Clinton Street, Morgan refused his confidential phone call and also refused to take a chemical test for blood alcohol. The bottles of wine and beer can were entered into evidence.
Morgan was charged with refusal to submit to a chemical test, driving under the influence, first offense, and for operating a motor vehicle in the presence of alcoholic beverages.