KEITH WHITCOMB JR.

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- Police said they arrested a School Street man for allegedly driving drunk from Shaftsbury to Bennington with his two children in his car.

Michael A. Martin, 31, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Vermont Superior Court to a second offense of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The state has filed two misdemeanor reckless endangerment charges, but no pleas have been entered.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Cpl. Andy Hunt, on Monday Vermont State Police asked his department to keep watch for Martin’s vehicle, as Martin had been involved in an argument in Shaftsbury and was possibly intoxicated. Hunt said he found Martin’s vehicle and followed it to School Street, where Martin got out and began helping two children, ages 10 and seven, out of the vehicle.

Hunt said Martin smelled of alcohol and insisted he was not drunk. He said he had gone to Shaftsbury to fetch his children because their mother had taken them while he was asleep. He said he had a few beers five hours earlier. State Police then arrived and after some initial refusals, got Martin to take a field sobriety test and give them a breath sample. According to an affidavit by State Police, Martin’s first breath test was faulty because of radio interference, but his second showed his blood-alcohol content to be .208 percent. He refused to provide a further evidentiary sample.


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