AUBURN — A Lewiston man was sentenced Wednesday to serve just over nine months in jail on charges stemming from a high-speed chase that ended when police forced his car into a ditch.
Brian Bouvier, 49, pleaded guilty in Androscoggin County Superior Court to felony charges of eluding an officer and reckless conduct and a misdemeanor charge of operating under the influence.
A judge sentenced Bouvier on the two felony counts to four years in prison with all of that time suspended except for nine months and a day. Justice MaryGay Kennedy also sentenced Bouvier to 48 hours in jail on the drunken driving charge as well as a $500 fine. The sentences are to be served at the same time.
When he’s released from prison, he’ll be on probation for two years, according to the terms of the plea agreement.
Bouvier’s jail sentence was postponed until Feb. 13, when he’s expected to have completed a nine-month substance-abuse counseling program at Hearthside Residential Treatment Center in Sidney and has been able to spend some time with his family.
He has been free on $1,000 cash bail.
Acting on a tip, a Maine State Police trooper in March had found Bouvier slumped over the wheel of his 1984 Chevrolet on a road in Greene.
When the trooper arrived, Bouvier was asleep. The trooper woke Bouvier, spoke with him and went back to his cruiser believing Bouvier had been drinking. When the trooper returned, he asked Bouvier to step out of the car to start a field sobriety test.
Bouvier sped off, police said. The trooper had reached into the car to stop Bouvier and was running alongside the car for a short distance before letting go. The trooper jumped in his cruiser to follow Bouvier.
Bouvier was clocked at speeds of up to 70 mph. The trooper chased Bouvier from Meadow Hill Road to North River Road and onto Allen Pond Road. Police said his car was “all over the road,” wandering into the oncoming travel lane and even bouncing off a snowbank there.
As the chase approached Route 202 at rush hour, police worried about the risk to other motorists. At one point, police said Bouvier swerved in the direction of the cruiser.
A supervisor gave the trooper permission to ram Bouvier’s car. Near the intersection of Allen Pond Road and Quaker Ridge Road, the trooper pushed Bouvier’s car into a ditch, ending the chase.
Bouvier was taken to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston where he was treated for minor injuries. Afterward, he was taken to Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn.
The alcohol content in his blood was recorded at 0.14 percent, police said.