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Watch Your Driving Near the Doughnut Shop

A 32-year-old Norwalk man is charged with driving while under the influence in Darien.

Dunkin Donuts in Darien is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with coffee and comestables at the ready, so a police officer on duty late at night may well be in his car, just waiting to leave when you zip by, violating some traffic law.

And that's just what Darien police say happened last Saturday at about 12:49 a.m. The incident resulted in the arrest of a 32-year-old man on a charge of driving while under the influence of alcohol. Here's the police account (an accusation not proven in court):

A police officer in an unmarked vehicle (but one with flashing lights) was just leaving the parking lot of Dunkin Donuts at 967 Post Rd. when a gray BMW went past, going east. The car seemed to be traveling very fast and had gone over the double yellow lines into the westbound lane as it passed another eastbound vehicle.

The officer followed the car and eventually caught up to it when the car stopped for a red light at the corner of Brookside Avenue and the Post Road. When the light turned green, the 2014 435XCI BMW accelerated rapidly, then the officer activated overhead lights. The BMW pulled over in a parking area near Birch Road.

When the officer spoke with the driver, Virgil Chesser of 100 Richards Ave., Norwalk, the officer could see that the driver's eyes were glassy and could smell alcohol. Chesser said he hadn't been drinking for several hours.

Chesser did not pass two out of three field sobriety tests and was arrested on a charge of driving while under the influence.

He agreed to have his blood-alcohol content tested at Darien Police headquarters (that other spot in town where you especially want to watch your driving). His alcohol level was 0.05 on the first test and 0.04 on the second, well under the 0.08 legal limit. Police didn't withdraw the charge -- they say alcohol content in blood can go down over time.

Chesser was also charged with passing in a no-passing zone. He posted a $250 bond and is scheduled to appear March 11 in state Superior Court in Stamford. Since his blood-alcohol level was below the legal limit, his driver's license was not seized, a rarity after DUI arrests.

Paul Bahre March 04, 2014 at 09:04 AM
Rules for Driving Drunk: 1. Never Drive through the center of town. 2. Never break traffic regulations 3. Make sure you have no lights out 4. Wear your seatbelt. 5. Take only back roads home. 6. Don't drink and drive too far from home and make sure the bars are more like at the edge of town instead of in the middle of town. 7. When in doubt just call a cab or get a ride home
David Gurliacci March 04, 2014 at 12:27 PM
You could put some taxi telephone numbers in your cell phone -- at least one for Darien, one for Norwalk, one for Stamford. Having them can actually handy for other emergencies. Law enforcement -- from police, through prosecutors, judges and probation -- will take a good bite out of your finances and also your time (for those of you with really fine finances), and they'll make sure it's a bother for you. I've covered the courts in Stamford and Norwalk -- the benches are hard and you're there for hours, with repeated appearances. And the judge and prosecutors strongly urge you to hire a lawyer, which I think is normally the biggest expense. A second offense, they'll always remind you, brings on draconian consequences. I think I saw more burglars go through the courts than I saw people with second DUIs (and I always assumed those arrests involved alcoholics who just couldn't control themselves). Keep in mind that this is what happens if you don't hit anything. Imposing on a friend for a ride or calling a cab both have their costs, but those costs are so much lighter than getting arrested. So if you're too sozzled to drive, you should hope that you're not too sozzled to remember you've got those phone numbers handy.

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