A former Massachusetts police officer is finding himself on the other side of the law after an accident that occurred last July. The 15-year veteran of the Chicopee Police Department pleaded guilty to charges of drunk driving and negligent operation of a motor vehicle in the Belchertown crash.
According to investigators, the 41-year-old man was traveling south on Route 21 when his Jeep Cherokee went over the centerline. They say he struck the vehicle of a 19-year-old girl driving northbound, hitting her almost head-on. Emergency responders had to use the Jaws of Life to get her out of her Honda Pilot. She reportedly suffered multiple lacerations and a broken foot.
According to the Massachusetts State Police, blood tests following the crash revealed that the defendant had a blood alcohol concentration of almost triple the legal limit. He was placed on administrative leave from his job.
While the man was sentenced to 2.5 years behind bars, he only has to serve 30 days. After he is released, he will still have a number of restrictions during his five-year probationary period. He must attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and is not allowed to drink. He will not be able to drive for a year. Reportedly, he has said that he would like to return to police work once his legal problems are behind him.
Driving under the influence is a crime that law enforcement and prosecutors take very seriously, particularly when people are injured because of their actions. However, there are often options available that can replace long jail sentences. Defendants who are willing to abide by conditions placed on them by the court can start getting back to a normal life.
Source: Source: ABC 40, "Chicopee Man Pleads Guilty to 2013 Drunk Driving Crash," No author given, June 24, 2014