Drunk driving case reaches Massachusetts Supreme Court
Somerville, Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled on November 18 that an off-duty Somerville police officer, though outside his jurisdiction, was right in taking away the keys of a drunk driver.
The case involved Joseph Limone, who rear-ended police officer Robert Kelleher in August of 2006. Kelleher, who was in uniform but in his own car at the time, took the keys from Limone's car and called the Woburn police, who had jurisdiction over the matter. It was later discovered that Limone had been caught drunk driving six times before.
Last year, the state Appeals Court overturned Limone's seventh drunk driving conviction, stating that Kelleher had made an illegal arrest. The Supreme Court disagreed. In a unanimous decision to reverse the lower court's ruling, Justice Francis Spina wrote, "So long as the officer does not use the indicia of his authority to collect evidence that a private citizen would be unable to gather, and the officer takes only reasonable preventive measures falling short of an actual arrest, the happenstance of the officer’s being in uniform alone will not convert the interaction into an arrest."
|This article was written by Matt Latourelle, the Project Director for the State Courts Project on Judgepedia. He can be reached at email@example.com.|