NEWBURYPORT, Mass. — A Maine man will spend the next two years behind bars after pleading guilty yesterday at Newburyport District Court to his seventh drunken driving incident.
Daniel Bussiere, 51, of 953 River Road, Hollis Center, Maine, was sentenced by Judge Michael Laurenzano to 2½ years in the house of correction, with two years to be served, on a charge of driving while under the influence of alcohol (fifth or subsequent offense) stemming from his July arrest in Amesbury, Mass.
The balance of the sentence was suspended with five years probation, the first six months ordered to be spent under house arrest at his home in Maine. Laurenzano ordered Bussiere to undergo substance abuse counseling and one of the conditions of his probation is that he remain drug- and alcohol-free during the five years.
Bussiere was credited with 34 days served, where he has been held without bail since his July 19 arrest in Amesbury and a subsequent Chapter 58A dangerousness hearing on July 26 that found him to be a danger to the public.
He was also found guilty of failing to stop for police, for which he was fined $100, and found responsible for a marked lane violation.
According to court documents, Amesbury police officer Ray Landry was on patrol late on the night of July 18, when he noticed Bussiere driving erratically on his motorcycle, swerving back and forth over the lane marker, as he proceeded south down Hillside Avenue.
As Landry followed the 1997 Kawasaki Vulcan motorcycle, he noticed the driver was having trouble maintaining his balance when he stopped at a stop sign.
Landry put on his lights and sirens, but Bussiere didn’t pull over initially. When Bussiere finally stopped and got off his bike near Amesbury Glass on Haverhill Road, Landry reported detecting a strong odor of alcohol as he approached and that Bussiere was unsteady on his feet.
Bussiere failed the field sobriety test and was arrested at midnight. Two Breathalyzer tests taken at the police station recorded a reading of .162, twice the Massachusetts legal alcohol limit of .08. Landry wrote in his report that Bussiere admitted he’d been drinking at a bar in Merrimac, where he said he had four beers and smoked four bowls of marijuana.
After running his record, Landry learned that Bussiere had a significant history of driving while intoxicated. According to court documents, Bussiere had been convicted of four separate incidents of drunken driving at Newburyport District Court, once in December 1981, twice in 1982 and again in December 1986. His next OUI conviction in Massachusetts was in June 1988 at Malden District Court.
Bussiere was last convicted of driving while intoxicated in January 2005 in Alfred, Maine.
© 2012 The Daily News of Newburyport
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