PITTSFIELD — A city man is facing his third OUI charge after allegedly crashing into a utility pole and abandoning the vehicle near his parents' house in Dalton.

James Cooney, 48, apparently failed to negotiate a turn from Kirchner Road into his parents' driveway about 7 p.m. Wednesday when he struck the pole head-on, according to Dalton Police.

When police arrived they found Cooney's damaged Jeep parked on the shoulder and saw a man in the road directing traffic. That man identified Cooney as the driver of the Jeep and pointed out to police the home he entered.

Cooney repeatedly told officers he'd "messed up" and admitted to having "a couple" of beers, according to the police report.

When asked if he'd be willing to take a field sobriety test following the crash, Cooney put his hands out and told police they "should just take him in."

He refused breath and chemical tests, but police did submit a preservation order for Cooney's blood, urine and clothing, pending a search warrant for those items.

Cooney was placed in custody and escorted out a side door of the house and through a side yard to avoid the utility lines, which were hanging low from the damage to the pole.

There were an unspecified number of open beer cans inside Cooney's vehicle, police said. The vehicle also did not have an ignition interlock device, which had been required under the terms of a previous OUI, police said. The device requires the driver to pass an alcohol breath test before a vehicle can be started.


Cooney was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of liquor (third offense), negligent operation of a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle in violation of a license restriction.

A dangerousness hearing has been set for Wednesday in Central Berkshire District Court to determine if bail should be set and in what amount.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.