Pittsfield man gets 2-plus years in jail for two separate drunken driving accidents
PITTSFIELD — A city man has been sentenced to more than 2 years in jail for two separate drunken driving accidents about seven months apart — including one in which he struck a Lenox Police cruiser.
Timothy O. Dayton, 49, admitted to operating under the influence and other related charges in connection with the incidents in February and September 2015.
Dayton's attorney, Ryan D. Smith, said had the case gone to trial, he planned to call medical experts to testify Dayton had a seizure disorder, the symptoms of which can mirror signs of intoxication.
Once that evidence was going to be allowed in, Smith said, the prosecution came back with a plea offer that made sense for Dayton to accept.
Dayton admitted he was behind the wheel and intoxicated on Feb. 4, 2015, when he was spotted driving erratically in Pittsfield by a local probation officer. After seeing Dayton's truck strike the median at the corner of East Lenox Road and Williams Street, the officer followed the vehicle to the Williams Street Plaza and removed the keys until officers arrived.
Dayton told officers he did not have a license and police noted slurred speech and an odor of alcohol. He was also unsteady on his feet and failed field sobriety tests, according to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert Royce.
He was arrested again in September 2015 in Lenox after he was spotted behind the wheel of his truck trying to free it from a ditch on East New Lenox Road.
Dayton managed to free the truck, and continued south on nearby Roaring Brook Road.
An officer, who had been alerted to a report of someone fleeing the scene of a one-car accident, had parked his cruiser in the middle of the road with its lights flashing, got out and flagged down Dayton to try and get him to stop.
Dayton struck the police cruiser and then crashed into a utility pole.
He refused to get out of the truck, prompting police to break the locked truck's window to remove him and take him into custody.
In that case, Dayton also exhibited signs of intoxication, including a strong odor of alcohol, glassy eyes and being unsteady on his feet, Royce said.
Both of Dayton's new OUI convictions are considered third offenses, having been previously convicted of the same charge in 1987 and 1989. However, if Dayton is arrested in the future on an OUI charge, it will be considered a fifth offense.
He pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Wednesday to two counts each of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, leaving the scene of property damage and one count each of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failure to stop for police.
Judge John Agostini adopted the joint recommendation made between Royce and Smith and sentenced him to 2 1/2 years in jail, with credit for 266 days of time already served.
The investigations were conducted by members of the Pittsfield and Lenox Police Departments.
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.
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