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Man charged with drunken driving after being found asleep at wheel

A Raynham man was charged with drunken driving after police found him asleep behind the wheel of his car, stopped in the middle of traffic Sunday on Route 44 in Raynham, police said.

Ronald Kolozie, 26, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Taunton District Court to charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. He was released on personal recognizance and is to return to court for a pretrial hearing July 18, a court clerk said.

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Raynham police responded to the incident at Route 44 and Orchard Street at about 6 p.m. Sunday. A driver had called police, saying that someone had stopped his car in westbound traffic and appeared to be dozing.

Upon arrival, officers observed cars swerving to avoid crashing into a stationary black Lincoln LS. Closer inspection found two men, the driver and a passenger, slumped in their seats, asleep, according to a police report.

Noticing that the car remained in gear with the driver’s foot on the brake, police used their cruisers to block the car. They then attempted to awaken the driver, but found all the car’s doors locked and the windows closed, the report said.

Officers honked their cruisers’ horns and yelled, but could not rouse the men. They eventually began banging on the vehicle’s windows, causing the driver, later identified as Kolozie, to slowly open his “red and glassy” eyes and look around confusedly, the report said.

After repeated requests from officers that he exit the vehicle, Kolozie allegedly opened his door and used the side of the car to help himself stand up and stumble a few steps.

“I could smell a strong smell of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath,” Raynham police Sergeant Jeffrey Crandall wrote in the police report.

While another officer worked on awakening the passenger, a Bridgewater man, Kolozie was led through several field sobriety tests, all of which he failed on his first attempt, the police report said. Kolozie then agreed to take a breath alcohol test, which indicated he had a .163 blood alcohol level, the report said, which is above the state’s legal limit of .08. He was arrested, and his car was towed.

Kolozie was released several hours later after posting $40 bail and was given a ride home by his mother. The passenger was given a ride home to Bridgewater by a police officer, the report said.

Catalina Gaitan can be reached at catalina.gaitan@globe.com.
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