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Former State Rep. Denies OUI Charge

Former state Rep. Doug Petersen pleaded innocent Monday to a charge of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol after he crashed his car in Marblehead.

Former Marblehead state Rep. Doug Petersen, who most recently served as commissioner of the state's Department of Agricultural Resources, denied a charge of drunk driving in court Monday.

Petersen, 63, of 29 Rose Ave., Marblehead, pleaded innocent in Lynn District Court to a charge of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. He was cited for failure to keep right of a median.

According to police, at 8:17 p.m., local officers responded to the intersection of Brookhouse Drive and Tedesco Street for a report of a high-speed motor vehicle crash.

A witness, who was reportedly walking her dog on Tedesco Street at the time of the accident, told police that she saw Petersen's gray BMW "fly by her and lose control...as it was turning right onto Brookhouse Drive."

The woman also told police that when she went to see if Petersen was injured, she could smell alcohol on him. Police determined the accident was caused by "high speed and impairment," according to court documents.

Petersen's vehicle sustained heavy front end damage in the accident and the front wheel on the driver's side was snapped off of the axle, according to police.

When questioned by police at the scene, Petersen admitted to drinking a couple of drinks before driving, was "wobbly, swaying side to side" and was "unsteady on his feet," according to court documents.

Petersen reportedly declined to take a breathalyzer test and refused to submit to a series of field sobriety tests. Petersen told police he was bipolar and had been taking antidepressants, according to court documents.

According to a report issued by Sgt. Donald Decker, Petersen "exhibited indicators of impairment, consistent with that of alcohol influence."

Petersen is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 23 for a pretrial conference.

John Buba November 15, 2011 at 01:46 PM
For the record, Petersen is a Democrat. Why is it that when Republicans get in trouble, their party affiliation is in the first paragraph, yet when a Democrat strays from the law it is in the last paragraph if at all? Also how often do you see in the paper "Conservative Republican ..." but you never see "Liberal Democrat ...? Just wondering.
Oldtown November 15, 2011 at 03:28 PM
My question: was his license suspended? My understanding was that if you refuse a breathalyzer you automatically lose your license for 6 months.
Owen Boss (Editor) November 15, 2011 at 04:57 PM
A judge ordered Petersen released on his own recognizance and there was no mention of any condition barring him from operating a motor vehicle, according to court documents.
Deirdre Tuppen O'Reilly January 14, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I know and admire Doug, in a professional relationship, and he is, hopefull, on the mend. And I have had professional interractions while he was on bicycle, albeit... I wish him the best. He is a stand-out guy, and don't we all have our issues!

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