Police: Drunken driver arrested in Great Barrington had BAC more than three times legal limit

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GREAT BARRINGTON — Police say a Mill River man who was charged Friday with a second offense of driving drunk had a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit.

Patrick Eichstedt, 24, was arraigned in Southern Berkshire District Court on Tuesday on charges of operating under the influence of liquor, second offense, as well as negligent operation.

Police say that just after 10 p.m. Friday, a motorist driving south into Great Barrington behind Eichstedt called to report an erratic driver in a red Chrysler SUV. The vehicle was in the wrong lane and trying to pass other cars.

Officers stopped the SUV off Monument Valley Road. Eichstedt was so intoxicated, police say, that they had to steady him when he got out of the car and were unable to give him a field sobriety test by the side of the road. Eichstedt told police that he thought he had been driving in Sheffield.

Police reported that they found two 42-ounce unopened bottles of Olde English 800 malt liquor, two cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a small amount of marijuana in Eichstedt's car.

Eichstedt had a blood alcohol level of 0.252 and 0.267, according to two tests that were given, police said. The legal limit is 0.08.

Police said he told them that he "may have taken some cannabis type oil earlier," and also added, "apparently I had too much tonight."

Eichstedt was held overnight for his own safety and released on $150 bail. His next hearing was set for Nov. 5.

In 2016, he was charged with OUI after Egremont Police arrested him. He completed his probation last year, and the charges were dismissed after the case was continued without a finding.

For this second OUI offense, he faces an automatic two-year license suspension, fines of $600 to $10,000, and 60 days to 2 1/2 years in jail.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.


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