AMESBURY — A local man was sentenced to a year in jail and lost his driver’s license for 10 years after pleading guilty to a fourth drunken-driving offense Monday in Newburyport District Court.
Jesse Joyce, 48, of 133 Kimball Road was arrested in late April after slamming his truck into a utility pole and then taking off.
In addition to a fourth drunken-driving offense, Joyce was charged with leaving the scene after property damage, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, wanton destruction of property more than $1,200, improper use of a mobile phone and a marked lanes violation.
In District Court on Monday, Joyce pleaded guilty to the most serious charges and was sentenced to two and a half years in jail.
Judge Peter Doyle suspended all but a year of his sentence for three years while on probation.
During Joyce’s time on probation, he must remain drug and alcohol free with random screens, use a SCRAM alcohol monitoring device and pay $2,265 in fees and fines. He was given credit for 110 days behind bars.
Joyce had been charged with drunken driving three previous times since 1999, the last offense taking place in 2013, according to court records.
Police responded to a car crash at 29 Newton Road on April 24 about 2:15 a.m. and found a white Ford F-150 with a utility pole lying on top of it and the driver nowhere to be found.
Officer Neil Moody checked the license plate and learned the truck was registered to a Kimball Road resident.
When Moody and Officer Travis Tremblay arrived at Joyce’s home, they spotted him walking toward the house from the side yard. After asking if Joyce was all right, Moody asked what happened.
“He stated that he was texting and messed up,” Moody wrote in his report.
As the officers were talking to Joyce, they could tell he had been drinking alcohol based on his slurred speech and breath. An ambulance crew was called but Joyce refused treatment.
Moody asked Joyce to take a series of field sobriety tests and he agreed. But Joyce had difficulty performing the tests.
A few moments later, Joyce — using colorful language — said he was not going to take any more tests, Moody wrote. Joyce was then placed under arrest and charged, the report said.
Prior to his arrest, Joyce said he “donates a ton of money to the police association every year and we should be giving him a break,” Moody wrote in his report.
Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.