After starting a police chase in Melrose, a man said to be operating under the influence of alcohol drove into the Malden River in an effort to evade law enforcement on Jan. 4. The Morsel man was apprehended and is being held without bail because of the circumstances leading to his arrest, which qualified him for a dangerous person hearing.

The Melrose Police Department received calls at about 1:30 a.m. from the neighbors of a man who threw the family Christmas tree onto his lawn, broke his front door and fought with his wife. When the authorities arrived, the man attempted to drive away in his pickup truck but first struck a police car. This led to a chase through Melrose that ended in Malden when the man drove his truck into the river, and the driver also reportedly hit two parked cars during the chase.

The police detained the Melrose man after he exited his truck and tried to swim away, and he was taken to and later released from Mass General after receiving medical attention. In addition to OUI, the pickup driver faces charges for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The man has four previous drunk driving charges, and his license was suspended when the accident occurred.

OUI is a serious charge that comes with lifelong consequences if convicted, and one could spend time in jail, pay expensive fines and have trouble securing work after a conviction. Depending on the circumstances, a Massachusetts resident could receive probation instead of jail time. However, a prosecutor may offer this when one pleads guilty to an OUI charge. In cases where an officer stopped a driver without probable cause or another procedural error occurred, fighting an OUI charge may be the best option.

Source: WHDH, “Melrose man faces 5th OUI after police chase”, Jan. 6, 2015