STONINGTON — A local man is facing DUI and other charges after police said he crashed head-on into a utility pole along Taugwonk Road on Friday, causing the pole to fall across the roadway and leading to a road closure.
Jeffrey Balch, 42, of 15 Wheeler Brook Park, was charged with driving under the influence, failure to drive to the right and driving with a suspended license. He was later released after posting a $1,000 non-surety bond, according to the police.
According to a Stonington police report, Balch was driving south in the area of 253 Taugwonk Road when he suddenly veered to the right and struck the utility pole head-on, causing damage to his car and causing the pole to snap.
The police said the pole fell to the side of the car, blocking both lanes of travel. The department closed the road for several hours with detours while repairs were made.
While talking with Balch, who did not suffer any serious injuries, the police report said officers detected alcohol on his breath. He was given a field sobriety test, which he failed, and was taken into custody.
Police discovered during the arrest that Balch had a suspended license as a result of previous court cases, leading to the additional charge.
The arrest is the second for Balch since August 2018 as a result of crashes, Connecticut court records show. Balch was charged in Ledyard with evading responsibility in a crash, driving distracted, failure to drive right and improper use of marker plates following an incident on Aug. 24. He has entered a not guilty plea to each charge.
He was later charged with second-degree failure to appear in December after not showing for a scheduled hearing, as well as being charged on April 5 in Ledyard with driving when license is suspended and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
Balch is due in New London Superior Court for arraignment on May 13, Connecticut judicial records show.