Pittsfield man faces second drunken driving charge this year

Tuesday August 28, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A 54-year-old Pittsfield man who's already facing a drunken driving charge from February was back in court on Monday again for driving while intoxicated, according to police.

Richard J. Parker of McArthur Street appeared in Central Berkshire District Court and pleaded not guilty to three charges, including his second drunken driving offense, and driving with a revoked license.

Parker's license was revoked for five years in February after he refused to take a breath alcohol test.

According to police, Parker was pulled over by a state trooper on Saturday at about 6 p.m. while driving on Union Street in Pittsfield. When stopped for having an expired inspection sticker, Parker told the officer, "Please don't," and hung his head, according to a police report.

The defendant admitted drinking "several beers" that evening and told the trooper he was heading elsewhere to drink more, said police.

Parker "showed signs of impairment" during field sobriety tests, appeared intoxicated and was subsequently arrested, according to the police report.

Parker is also facing drunken driving charges in connection with a February arrest by Pittsfield Police.

The circumstances surrounding both of Parker's arrests are similar, including his comments to police.

"Please don't do this to me," Parker told the police officer who stopped him on Feb. 28 on Onota Street.

In the first instance, Parker was allegedly found to be drunk after police stopped him for having an expired registration sticker while leaving a city bar. His trial on the February charges is scheduled for November.

According to court records, an earlier drunken driving charge filed against Parker was continued without a finding of guilt, before it was dismissed in 1981. He was also charged with drunken driving in 2004.

It is unclear whether the District Attorney's Office could amend Parker's most recent drunken driving charge from a second to third offense if he is convicted on the February charges.

Attorney Joshua C. Hochberg, who represented Parker on Monday, told the court that his client has liver disease and is very ill. He asked the court to place Parker on house arrest, and have him monitored with a GPS device.

The prosecution asked the court to revoke Parker's right to bail on the February charges because he is a danger to the community.

Judge Fredric D. Rutberg agreed, saying that GPS monitoring would not prevent Parker from driving.

With his right to bail revoked, Parker can be held for up to 60 days without bail. He will be back in court on Sept. 24 for a pretrial hearing.

Attorney Robert D. Sullivan Jr. represents Parker in both drunken driving cases.


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