PELHAM, NH (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A Lowell man with two prior DUI convictions was arrested Saturday after police allege he was driving under the influence, even though his car was equipped with an alcohol ignition interlocking device.
John T. LeVasseur, 46, is facing charges that include driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated, conduct after an accident, possession of marijuana, and transportation of marijuana.
LeVasseur was pulled over on Atwood Road in Pelham, N.H. just before 1:30 p.m. after a woman reported witnessing him hit a tree near the intersection of Hobbs and Simpson Mill roads. The woman told police LeVasseur continued driving southbound on Route 38 after hitting the tree and that he was driving "all over the roadway."
Pelham police claim LeVasseur was "highly intoxicated and very unsteady on his feet" when they stopped him. They further allege the 46-year-old was in possession of marijuana and had several empty alcohol bottles on the floor of his truck. He was placed under arrest after failing field sobriety tests.
Police say LeVasseur was convicted of driving under the influence in Lowell in Nov. 1984 and again in Sept. 2009 in North Carolina. LeVasseur was required to have an interlocking device installed in his car under Melanie's Law. The law requires Massachusetts residents to install the device for a period of two years if they have multiple DWI convictions. Alcohol interlock devices operate like a breathalyzer, requiring drivers to breathe into the device before they can operate their car.
LeVasseur reportedly told police he blew into the device and it allowed him to start his truck. Police are investigating whether or not he followed the guidelines in using the device.
The 46-year-old was held on $1,000 bail and scheduled for arraignment in Salem Monday.