Darien police said that when a 36-year-old man driving on the Post Road near Thorndal Circle was charged with driving under the influence, he already had an ignition interlock device in his vehicle — a machine mandated for DUI arrestees to prevent them from driving while intoxicated again.
Police described what happened with this account (including accusations not proven in court):
Joel Fernandes of Riverside Avenue in Stamford was driving a gray 2003 Toyota Avalon east on the Post Road at about 3:11 a.m. when a police officer saw the car switch lanes without giving the proper signal and then saw the car drive over the double yellow line three times.
When the car was stopped near the intersection of the Post Road and Thorndal Circle, a police officer smelled alcohol coming from the vehicle, along with the odor of marijuana that had just been smoked.
A police officer had to ask Fernandes numerous times to provide his driver’s license, insurance and registration. Fernandes’ eyes were red and glassy, and his speech was slow and slurred. He admitted he had been drinking earlier.
Fernandes was arrested on charges of driving while under the influence failure to drive on the right side of the road and shifting lanes without the proper turn signal.
When he was taken to Darien Police Headquarters, he tried to take a breath test, but his first breath sample was inconclusive. Instead, police decided to give him a urine test. He provided one sample but decided not to provide another.
The sample he did give was sent to a state laboratory, but he was marked down in the police report as having refused to provide a sample, which can result in a stricter response from the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
He was released on a promise to appear at a later date in state Superior Court in Stamford.