Losing your license for life is not keeping chronic drunk drivers off the road, a FOX Undercover investigation has found, including the case of a repeat offender caught driving on camera even though he lost his license in 2005.
The case of Scott Green – convicted five times for driving drunk and charged twice with driving after his license was revoked -- raises questions about whether Massachusetts is doing enough to keep people like Green from getting behind the wheel.
His first OUI arrest was in 1983. More OUI arrests came in 1985, 1991, and 1998.
Then in 2004, a state trooper pulled him over on I-95 in Newbury after watching Green speed and swerve across lanes.
The trooper asked Green to recite the alphabet, but according to the police report he "mixed up the appropriate order" of the letters, and "ended the recitation with the letter 'X.’"
He was arrested and eventually pled guilty to drunk driving. That was the last straw for the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, which took away his license for life.
But police say that hasn't stopped him from driving. Since he lost his license, Green has been charged twice with driving without a license.
FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet caught up with Green.
“Your license has been revoked for life because you've been arrested so many times for drunk driving yet you still keep getting behind the wheel,” Beaudet said.
“I've been sober for six-and-a-half years, Sir. I’m taking one day at a time,” Green replied.
“I'm glad that you're taking one day at a time but you're also getting behind the wheel when you don't have a license,” Beaudet said.
“I have a driver right here, OK?” Green replied.
He may have had a driver when we spoke with him, but he didn't have one when Gloucester police pulled him over in 2008 and charged him with driving with a revoked license. That case was dismissed on a technicality -- the police mailed his citation too late.
Then in March, a State Police trooper says he caught Green driving in Reading and arrested him on the spot.
“Why do you keep driving?” FOX 25’s Beaudet asked.
“I'm not keeping driving. I have a driver here and I'm having a hard time,” Green replied.
Just 16 days after he was arrested in Reading, FOX Undercover caught him behind the wheel yet again.
“When I have you on video tape driving since your arrest, how do you explain that?” Beaudet asked.
“I'm not driving without this. I'm sitting here with my driver!” Green replied.
“You're not driving now but how do you explain the fact that you have gotten behind the wheel?” Beaudet asked.
“Show me the videos,” Green said.
Green visited FOX 25 and watched the video but declined to go on camera and talk about what he saw.
One person willing to talk about repeat drunk drivers is Rachel Kaprielian, the Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles.
She said people like Green are “absolutely” putting the rest of us on the roads at risk.
“You have these egregious cases and they are menaces, they are literal menaces on our roads and they should be stopped through whatever means are necessary,” Kaprielian said.
The Registry has permanently revoked 4,442 drivers' licenses, but Kaprielian says there is not much the RMV can do to keep these menaces off the road.
“The RMV has revoked their licenses in almost every single one of these cases as soon as we learn of it, so we are all over it and at that point it is up to law enforcement to make sure they stay off the road,” Kaprielian said.
But Mary McNamara, Massachusetts executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving says many people with revoked licenses are still driving.
“We hear anecdotally that between 70 and 85 percent of folks who have their licenses revoked will still get behind the wheel of a car and drive,” McNamara said.
McNamara says more needs to be done to keep chronic drunk drivers off the road.
“They’re pretty hard-core alcoholics. They are actively in the disease and they really are not phased in any way shape or form by having their license revoked,” she said.
MADD says police need more information from the Registry and the courts about who those chronic offenders are so they can better keep an eye on them. MADD also says interlock devices work and wants them used first-time OUI offenders.
As for Green, his driving without a license case is still pending in Woburn District Court. Asked for comment about FOX Undercover’s findings, the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office says they plan to obtain a copy of the video and, if there’s evidence that Green was driving, will move to revoke his bail.
If convicted, he could go to jail for as long as two-and-a-half years.