• Police: Drunk driver was four times over limit
    May 15,2014
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    Police say driver

    4 times over limit

    BENNINGTON — A local man is facing criminal charges after police said they believed he had been driving with a blood-alcohol content more than four times the legal limit on Monday around 9 a.m.

    William J. Russell, 51, of Bennington, was charged with a felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol and a felony count of driving while his license was suspended for driving under the influence.

    The accusation of driving under the influence was charged as a felony because Russell was allegedly convicted of the same crime three times already, twice in New York in April and October 1987, and once in Vermont in June 2008.

    Police said Russell has three previous convictions within the last five years for driving while his license was under suspension because of drunken driving charges.

    In an affidavit, Officer Lawrence Cole of the Bennington Police Department said he was sent to a Bennington home just before 9 a.m. Monday because a woman said her neighbor was accusing her of stealing.

    While speaking with the woman, Cole said he saw Russell pull into a parking lot in a Ford pickup. The woman told Cole that the driver of the truck was the man who had been accusing her.

    When Cole spoke to the man, according to the affidavit, he noticed signs of intoxication.

    “I asked Russell if he had been drinking alcohol this morning and he told me he had. I asked how much he drank and he responded, ‘All that was left in the house,’” Cole said.

    Cole said Russell provided a breath sample at 8:56 a.m. which indicated a blood-alcohol content of 0.328 percent.The legal limit for driving in Vermont is 0.08.

    On Tuesday, Russell was arraigned in Rutland criminal court. He pleaded innocent to the charges and was released under a court order to check in twice daily at the Bennington police station.
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