Lenox man faces 4th OUI charge after ramming utility pole

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LENOX >> A town man is facing his fourth drunken driving charge after he crashed his vehicle into a utility pole on Wednesday evening, according to Lenox police.

Gary Lorette, 55, of May Street, was driving his Ford Ranger on West Mountain Road about 7 p.m. when he veered off the road and struck several mailboxes before slamming into the pole, cutting it in half and leaving wires dangling across the roadway, according to the police report.

Officers found Lorette's heavily damaged vehicle and leaning on its side, Police Chief Stephen O'Brien said.

"There were obvious signs of intoxication," he said.

Lorette, who had been alone in the vehicle, was transported by the Lenox Ambulance Squad to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, where he was treated for minor injuries and released.

He was arrested and charged with a felony charge of operating under the influence, fourth offense, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. He was held overnight at the Lenox police station lockup on $1,400 bail pending arraignment Thursday at Southern Berkshire District Court in Great Barrington.

"He was completely cooperative at all times," O'Brien said. "Thankfully [he] didn't hurt anybody and only hurt himself."

According to Massachusetts General Laws, conviction on a fourth OUI felony charge carries a potential prison sentence of two to five years and a fine of $1,500 to $25,000. The law specifies that a prison sentence cannot be reduced to less than one year or suspended.

Conviction also requires a 10-year driver's license suspension, with a work hardship considered in five years and general hardship in eight years.

Contact Clarence Fanto at 413-637-2551.


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