LUNENBURG — A Groton woman was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and drugs after driving away during a traffic stop and crashing her car nearly in front of the town’s police station, according to court documents.
At about 1 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31, Jenna MacPherson, 19, of 40 Watson Way, was stopped on Massachusetts Avenue near West Street by a patrol officer for speeding and crossing the center line, according to the officer’s report of the incident.
Once stopped, and as the officer walked toward MacPherson’s vehicle, a Honda Civic, he noticed the driver was taking photos of him.
When he reached her car, he reported an odor of marijuana and that her eyes were bloodshot and glassy, which she allegedly admitted to smoking a few hours before in the car.
The officer also asked if she had been drinking after noticing a “nip” of Irish whiskey in her purse, to which she at first answered no and then admitted that she had, but that it was only the one “nip.”
After a field-sobriety test, the officer, who had been joined by another officer prior to the test, asked MacPherson if she would submit to a portable blood alcohol breath test, and she agreed, registering a .071.
Deciding not to place her under arrest, but issue her a citation and have her arrange to be picked up, the officer went back to his cruiser to write the citation and had her wait in her vehicle because the temperature was in the low 20s, according to the report.
While writing the citation, the officer saw the driver’s door of MacPherson’s car open and then close. The officer got out and asked her if everything was OK. MacPherson told him she had contacted two sober friends who could pick her up.
As the officer got back into his cruiser, MacPherson suddenly sped off at a high rate of speed on Massachusetts Avenue, he reported.
At first the officer turned on his emergency sirens and flashers, and then turned them off, deciding it would be safer because she might be unfamiliar with the road and their icy condition.
He lost sight of the vehicle and moments later saw MacPherson’s car appearing to accelerate from a stopped position after crashing into a guardrail and snow bank in the 900 block of Massachusetts Avenue. MacPherson continued to flee until the car stopped because of the damage, the officer reported.
MacPherson exited the Honda and said: “I shouldn’t have done that. I (messed) up,” according to the officer’s report.
Because the crash occurred nearly in front of the police station, it was recorded by its surveillance camera, the officer reported.
After being booked, MacPherson’s blood alcohol content was .07. The legal limit is .08.
Once read her rights, she said, according to the officer, “all I wanted to say is (that’s) the dumbest thing I’ve ever done (to) drive away from that scene. I’m sorry that I have a little bit of alcohol in me.”
MacPherson was charged with an open container violation, failure to stop for a police officer, speeding, operating under the influence of liquor and drugs, leaving the scene of property damage and a marked lanes violation, according to the officer’s report.
Bail was set at $240 and she was released into her father’s custody with a written promise to appear in District Court on Tuesday. Her next court appearance is Feb. 9.