BENNINGTON -- A Pownal man was charged with his fourth offense of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) after a State Police trooper said he pulled out in front of him and failed to stop for the trooper's blue lights.
Joseph M. Walsh, 44, pleaded not guilty Monday to a fourth offense of DUI, and misdemeanor counts of attempting to elude police, and driving with a suspended license. He was held for lack of $5,000 bail and should he be released will have to check in twice a day at the Bennington Police Department, and not be allowed to drive or consume alcohol.
According to an affidavit by Vermont State Trooper Elliot Justinger, on Feb. 22 at 5:54 p.m. he was heading south on Route 7 in Pownal when a vehicle pulled out of the Pownal Village Market in front him, causing him to swerve into the other lane. Justinger said he turned on his blue lights but the vehicle did not stop until it pulled into a driveway on Hidden Valley Road. Walsh got out of the vehicle and claimed he had four beers in the past four hours. Justinger said an open beer can was in the car along with other, unopened cans. Walsh refused to take a breath test or take a field sobriety test. He appeared highly intoxicated, according to police.
Court records show his previous DUI convictions were on March 28, 1990, Jan. 9, 2009, and July 25, 2006.