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Man faces DWI, drug charges even though truck had anti-alcohol device

November 23. 2013 9:31PM

PELHAM - Police arrested a Massachusetts man on drug and alcohol charges after he allegedly drove off after hitting a tree Saturday afternoon and then failed field sobriety tests.

Now they're trying to figure out how he started his vehicle.

Police said John LeVasseur, 46, of Lowell had an ignition interlock device installed on his pickup truck that is meant to prevent him from driving under the influence of alcohol.

But they said a witness called police around 1:20 p.m. to report a driver had struck a tree at the intersection of Hobbs Road and Simpson Mill Road and then drove off southbound on Route 38. The witness told police she followed the pickup and saw it driving "all over the roadway," according to a press release.

Police stopped the vehicle at the intersection of Route 38 and Atwood Road. LeVasseur was "highly intoxicated and very unsteady on his feet," police said. He failed field sobriety tests and was arrested.

He also was in possession of marijuana, and there were empty liquor bottles scattered around the floor of his vehicle, police said.

LeVasseur was charged with DWI, DWI second offense, aggravated DWI, improper conduct after an accident, possession of marijuana and transportation of marijuana. He was held on $1,000 cash bail at Valley Street Jail in Manchester, and a court hearing is scheduled on Monday at 10th Circuit Court, Salem Division.

LeVasseur had been convicted of DWI in 1984 in Massachusetts and again in 2009 in North Carolina. He was ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed on his vehicle to prevent him from driving under the influence again.

According to the press release, when Pelham officers asked how he started his vehicle, he said he had blown into the device and the vehicle had started.

Crime Pelham

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