WESTERLY — A Pleasant Street man is facing DUI charges after police said he was driving at more than 3½ times the legal limit when his car out spun out and crashed on Route 1 near Wilder Avenue.
The man, Raymond G. Brouillette, 57, was arraigned Wednesday in Fourth Division District Court on one count of driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content greater than .15. He pleaded not guilty and waived his right to a jury trial, allowing the case to go before an associate justice.
Brouillette was also cited for operating a motor vehicle without insurance, operating a motor vehicle left of the center lane, and failing to obey a stop signal.
"He crossed two lanes, the wrong way. This could have been much worse," Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said. "If this had occurred a few moments before, or a few moments later, he would have struck someone head-on."
According to an accident report, Brouillette was southbound shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday when he braked hard and swerved left to avoid colliding with a car stopped at a traffic light in front of him. The police said his car went into a tailspin and crossed two northbound lanes, hit a curb and then went into a grassy area adjacent to the Wendy's Restaurant. One of his tires burst but the police said Brouillette was not injured.
When officers arrived on scene, Lacey said, "He was stumbling and could not stand without leaning against the car for help."
The police said Brouillette agreed to a breathalyzer test at the crash site, which returned a blood alcohol content reading of .302. About 75 minutes later, at the police station, Lacey said he agreed to further tests, which yielded readings of .279 and .273. The legal blood alcohol limit is .08.
The arrest was Brouillette's second in five years on a charge of driving with a blood alcohol content greater than .15. He was arrested in Middletown, R.I., in November 2014 and eventually pleaded no contest.
As a result of the previous conviction, the current charge would carry a minimum penalty of six months in prison. He would also be required to relinquish his license for 1 to 2 years, receive additional drug or alcohol education and treatment, and pay fines and court costs in excess of $1,750. Brouillette was released on a promise to appear and is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on May 10.