BENNINGTON -- Police said gouge marks left in the road by a blown tire helped them make a case against a Grove Street man who they charged with drunk driving and leaving the scene of two crashes.

Dak Lauzon Jr., 27, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to a first offense of driving under the influence of alcohol, and two counts of leaving the scene of a crash with property damage. He was released on conditions that he not drive or consume alcohol.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Andy Hunt, on Dec. 27 at 11:23 p.m. there was a report of some one driving a silver sport utility vehicle the wrong-way down the one-way portion of Gage Street at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was said to have the rubber off its tires on the passenger side.

A 2002 Jeep Liberty with damaged tires and fenders was found parked at C.L. White Glass. It had made contact with the building but not damaged it. The engine was warm and footprints leading away from it were left in the snow. The vehicle was registered to Dak Lauzon and Theresa Lauzon. A call to them was made and it was learned that Dak Lauzon Jr. had been in possession of it that night.

Because the tires were down to their rims, gouge marks had been left in the road. Police followed the marks to Route 279 near the Chapel Road overpass where it appeared a vehicle hit a guard rail. The marks also showed where a vehicle had hit a shed at 1004 Main St.

Lauzon was located at his house on Grove Street where he was apparently heavily intoxicated and being belligerent with family members. He denied driving and said he walked to J.C.'s Tavern where he had several alcoholic drinks.

A bouncer at the bar said Lauzon had been there at 11:30 p.m. or so but was only served water because he was intoxicated. The bouncer said family members retrieved him from the bar.

Lauzon's blood-alcohol content was .167 percent.

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