PITTSFIELD -- A city man facing his sixth drunken driving charge is being released to home arrest with electronic monitoring following a hearing on Thursday in Central Berkshire District Court.
Peter M. Connors, 50, of Gale Avenue, has been held in jail for six days without bail awaiting Thursday’s hearing in which the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office was requesting that his bail be revoked and Connors be held for up to 60 days. Connors is facing five charges including fifth-offense drunken driving and driving with a suspended license due to drunken driving.
Police say they found Connors at about 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 6 passed out in his car, which was stopped in the road near Columbus Avenue and Center Street. A concerned citizen called police about the vehicle.
According to a Pittsfield Police report, when pulled over, Connors handed a police officer a debit card instead of a license and was 7 1/2 hours off when asked what time he thought it was. He refused to perform field sobriety tests or a breathalyzer, according to the report.
Connors has previous drunken driving convictions in Massachusetts and New York going back to 1983, said police and prosecutors.
Arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on Dec. 6, Connors was released on $2,500 cash bail with conditions that included home arrest, electronic monitoring and refraining from drinking any alcohol.
Early the next morning, he was re-arrested by police and brought into court for allegedly violating his release by drinking alcohol and by being out of contact with law enforcement officials because his electronic monitoring device was not plugged in.
On Thursday, Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Mary-Elizabeth Mack told the court that Connors knowingly disconnected his electronic monitor, and that when police arrived at his home, they found an empty bottle of Twisted Tea near where he was asleep and later had a .038 breath alcohol content.
"He’s a danger to the community," she told the judge.
Attorney William A. Rota, representing Connors, said there was no "clear and convincing evidence" that his client had violated his pretrial conditions. The empty bottle didn’t prove anything, he said, and his client still had alcohol in his system from the previous day.
Connors took the stand and denied drinking alcohol, but admitted that he hadn’t plugged the electronic monitor into the socket, but said he had done it accidentally.
District Court Judge Bethzaida Sanabria-Vega agreed with Rota. Connors will likely be released from custody today and will continue to have the same conditions as before.