Friday July 12, 2013

BENNINGTON -- A Pownal man who called State Police to report his wife taking his car and dog was charged with his fourth offense of driving under the influence of alcohol after responding troopers found him on an all-terrain vehicle, allegedly intoxicated.

Gregory Hattat, 49, of Route 7, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a felony count of DUI #4, and operating a vehicle with a suspended license. He was released on condition that he enter the Brattleboro Retreat, a substance abuse treatment facility, on Thursday, and to complete programming there. Once released he will be under a number of conditions, namely that he obey a check-in schedule at the Bennington Police Department, not drive, not consume alcohol, and not leave the county.

According to an affidavit by Vermont State Trooper Elliot Justinger, on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m., Hattat called 911 to report that his wife had left with his vehicle and dog. At some point Hattat was in telephone contact with Vermont State Trooper Robert Zink and said he was going to leave on his ATV. Because a 911 dispatcher told troopers Hattat sounded intoxicated, Zink told him not to leave on the ATV.

Justinger wrote that Hattat was not at his house when he arrived to speak with him. While driving around Searles Crossing, Justinger saw an ATV swerving between lanes. The ATV stopped and was being driven by Hattat, who appeared intoxicated. He admitted to having consumed six beers since 11 a.m. and failed field sobriety exercises.


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He gave a preliminary breath sample showing his blood-alcohol content to be .293 at 5:58 p.m.

According to court records, Hattat was convicted of DUI on Jan. 23, 2002, May 19, 1994, and Oct. 4, 1991.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.