NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

December 4, 2012

Man sentenced for driving drunk with kids in car

By Dave Rogers
Staff Writer

---- — NEWBURYPORT — An Amesbury man was sentenced to two years in jail after pleading guilty last Thursday to driving drunk in downtown Newburyport this August with three young children in the car.

Eric M. Brown, 25, 14 Fruit Place, Amesbury, will spend more than 250 days in jail after Judge Peter Doyle ordered him to serve one year in jail with 109 days already deemed served. In addition to jail time, Brown will be on probation for three years and will lose his driver’s license for eight years. Among the conditions of his probation is that he must remain drug and alcohol free for three years as well as keep a remote breath-testing device in his house for six months. He was also fined more than $1,600.

This marks Brown’s third conviction for drunken driving, having previously been convicted in 2004 and again earlier this year.

In addition to pleading guilty to drunken driving and three counts of child endangerment while under the influence of alcohol, Brown admitted to driving a motor vehicle without a license, failure to stop or yield, improper operation of a motor vehicle and furnishing a false name to Newburyport police. Brown also admitted he borrowed the car used in the incident, a white Volvo belonging to the mother of the three children, without permission, and was setenced to three years probation.

Brown was traveling south on State Street just past Liberty Street

According to the police report of Newburyport police Sgt. William Steeves, on Sunday, Aug. 12, he received a call from Officer Eric Marshall that Brown was driving improperly headed south on State Street just past Liberty Street. Steeves said he saw the suspect spin his wheels as he climbed State Street.

After pulling the car over, Steeves saw three small children, ages 10, 6 and 5, in the car and could smell a distinct odor of alcohol coming from the driver. Brown was unable to produce a driver’s license or a registration and appeared sluggish upon questioning, police said. Brown then told police his name was Brian Brown and that he was 42 years old. When Steeves asked him to say the alphabet from A to Z, Brown made it to P before repeating L through P. Steeves again asked Brown who he was and Brown again said he was Brian Brown, but that he was born in 1977.

During the interview, the 10-year-old told Steeves that Brown had been drinking, according to the sergeant’s report.

After failing field sobriety tests, Brown was handcuffed and brought to the station for booking. The mother of the three children was contacted by police, who informed them that Brown had borrowed her car without her permission. At the station, Brown blew a .134 blood alcohol level. The maximum blood alcohol level to legally drive is .08. Eventually, Brown admitted his true identity and was charged, according to Steeves’ report.