Man faces sixth DUI charge
BENNINGTON — A judge imposed a $5,000 bail on Monday on a North Bennington man who police said was arrested on Saturday morning for his sixth charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Robert C. Hurley, 48, pleaded innocent in Bennington criminal court to felony counts of driving under the influence and refusing to submit to an alco-sensor test after a previous conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, and misdemeanor charges of giving false information to police to implicate another person and resisting arrest.
In an affidavit, Officer Thalia Hudson of the Bennington Police Department said she had been called to a Northside Drive restaurant on Saturday around 2:20 a.m. to respond to the report of a local cab driver. The driver said a man driving a white Dodge pickup truck had pulled in front of him, causing him to brake to avoid a collision, he told police.
The driver said he saw the man in the truck cross the center line at least four times and followed him to the restaurant parking lot before reporting the incident to police.
Hudson said when she saw Hurley at the restaurant, she recognized him from having seen him driving earlier, about 1:50 a.m on Saturday. She said he caught her attention because he had stopped on Main Street “for no apparent reason” and then turned on to School Street. At the time, Hudson was handling another call, she said.
Hudson said she spoke to Hurley but he denied driving. She said Hudson said another person had been driving and left but couldn’t name the other person.
Hudson also noted that because of Hurley’s difficulty in standing and retaining memory, he appeared to be “substantially intoxicated.”
According to Hudson, she and Cpl. Joshua Stemp were trying to get Hurley to comply with field sobriety tests but Hurley would not put down his food or cigarettes.
“Cpl. Stemp had to take the burger from Hurley and then we had to peel the lighter from his hand. He said, ‘I’m going to eat that.’ I told him that he was not going to eat a lighter and explained that he would get everything back,” Hudson said.
After he failed several field sobriety tests either through his actions or refusing to comply, police attempted to take Hurley into custody but he resisted, Hudson said. However, police were able to put him in handcuffs after a struggle, she added.
According to the affidavit, Hurley refused to provide a breath sample after he was taken to the Bennington Police Station. Hudson said that when she asked Hurley if he would provide a breath sample, he responded, “For what, sitting at a restaurant having a burger?”
Hudson said Hurley’s previous convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol took place in Vermont in February 1990 and October 1995 and in New York in May 1985, August 1991 and May 2008.
During his arraignment, Hurley’s attorney, Jeffrey Rubin, said that Hurley was concerned that he would not be able to meet the requirement of a daily check-in during the weekend because he would not be driving and lives in North Bennington which is some distance from the Bennington Police Station.
However, Judge David Howard said that he believed the weekend may be the time that’s of greatest concern for making sure that Hurley is not drinking and driving. Howard told Hurley he would need to make plans ahead of time.
The bail was continued from Hurley’s arrest but he had already posted bail by Monday.
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