The Lynn Item reports today that a 28 year old Peabody man was arrested for drunk driving, fourth offense. The defendant, Robert Farley was held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing. It is alleged that Farley was driving 79 mph on Route 1 at 1:30 a.m. Police followed the car watching it weave between lanes and around cars without signaling. Once the police activated their lights Farley slowed but failed to stop for a lengthy distance. Once stopped the defendant appeared unsteady on his feet and swayed from side to side falling backwards towards the hood of his car. Police located an open container of alcohol and several empty beer cans in the car. Farley was in possession of illegal prescription drugs and was operating without a license or registration in his possession. Nearly 3 hours after his arrest Farley asked a trooper if he believed that he was still drunk. The trooper conducted several field sobriety tests at that time and related in essence that four of six administered had been failed. A police report indicated that the suspect had to be told five different times in the course of two minutes the location of where his car had been towed. Read Article, Lynn Item, December 30, 2008.
So how much trouble is Farley in? Well first, he is being held without bail pending a hearing on dangerousness. Dangerousness is governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 276 Section 58A. That statute permits the prosecution to move a judge to detain an individual pending trial. The judge must hold the suspect in custody until a hearing can be scheduled. The statute permits the prosecution 3 days to prepare for the hearing. This means that if the prosecutor wants to move for detention based on dangerousness and they are not ready to proceed with a hearing the judge, upon their request, must hold you for as many as 3 days if this is the time necessary for the prosecution to prepare for the hearing. It appears that the prosecution is afraid that Farley, given his criminal history and relative youth is a risk to the public and that incarceration is in the community's best interest while his case is pending. After the hearing the judge can impose virtually limitless terms for release, or he may simply decide to detain Farley pending trial.
This however is only the beginning for Farley. He must also defend the 4th offense drunk driving charges. If convicted of a 4th offense OUI you must serve at least 1 year in jail. There is a potential 5 year prison sentence if the case is indicted and tried in the superior court. There is also a 10 year loss of license and a hardship license will not be an option for at least 5 years and for up to 8 years.