A 61-year-old Gloucester man who lost his license for life for repeatedly driving drunk, denied being drunk behind the wheel again in court Thursday.
Donald Blanchette, who has a more than eight-page criminal record and six prior drunken driving convictions, was ordered held without bail as a danger to society, The Lowell Sun newspaper reported.
In Middlesex Superior Court last week, Blanchette pleaded not guilty to a seventh offense of driving drunk, driving with a suspended license, and driving without a license suspended for operating under the influence.
Assistant District Attorney Gina Kwon asked that Blanchette be held without bail as a danger to society in Lowell District Court, and his defense attorney Debra Dewitt agreed to those terms, according to the Sun.
State troopers from the Andover barracks received a report at 10:50 p.m. on May 26 of an erratic driver on I-495 North, according to court documents. Troopers caught up to a black Volvo and witnessed the car veer into the breakdown lane several times, the documents say.
When troopers attempted to stop the car, the driver, Blanchette, took the exit ramp onto Route 133 in Tewksbury, driving onto the grassy area and nearly striking a guardrail.
As troopers approached they detected the strong odor of alcohol, and Blanchette was arrested after he failed field sobriety tests.
Blanchette’s license was been suspended for life after his fourth conviction for drunken driving in 2004. He was also jailed in December 2009 after being caught driving without a license in the town of Manchester that Christmas Eve, though police found that he was not impaired in that instance.
He has been convicted of drunken driving charges out of district courts in Lowell, Newton, Salem and Gloucester.
His next court date is Sept. 6 for a pretrial conference.