WARWICK, RI — Officer Ben Bratko pulled over the driver of a red 2008 BMW swerving on Sandy Lane May 16 at 6:45 p.m., charging him with DUI.
Bratko found the BMW near 2401 West Shore Road after dispatch directed him to the area for a report of the car swerving into oncoming traffic and followed it to Sandy Lane, watching as the car swerved over the center line and fog line on the road before pulling over the driver, according to the officer’s report.
Bratko identified the driver as Altino Estrela, 56, of 22 Earl St., Apt. A1, West Warwick, who told the officer he was headed home from Providence. As they spoke, Bratko reported smelling an odor of alcohol on Estrela’s breath. When asked how much alcohol he’d had that day, Estrela replied, “nothing,” according to the report.
When asked for his license and registration, Estrela handed Bratko a blank piece of paper, the officer reported.
During a series of sobriety tests, Bratko reported, Estrela demonstrated a lack of smooth pursuit and involuntary eye movements in his vision. He was also unable to walk in a straight line or balance steadily on one foot, telling the officer he had gout, “everywhere.”
Estrela resisted Bratko’s attempts to handcuff him before the officer transported him to Warwick Police Headquarters, 99 Veterans Memorial Drive, but Bratko and another officer were able to restrain him with each taking one of the man’s arms.
At the station, Estrela refused his phone call, and refused to submit to a breath test of his blood alcohol. He was charged with DUI, first offense, blood alcohol unknown, and cited for refusing a breath test and for lane violations.
In 2018, Estrela had refused a breath test, resulting in his license being suspended, and sentencing to alcohol education, community service.
Estrela pled not guilty to the May 16 charges in Third District Court and was released on $3,000 personal recognizance.