FLETCHER, Vermont (Burlington Free Press) – A day of fishing ended with three members of a Fairfax family facing criminal charges of driving while under the influence after a single-car crash in Fletcher on Saturday night, Vermont State Police.
Two of them were about three times the legal limit, police said.
Nicholas A. Woodward, 19, is due in Vermont Superior Court in St. Albans on Aug. 18, while his brother, Joshua Woodward, 22, and their father, Brian Woodward, 46, are scheduled for arraignment Sept. 2, state police said.
The charge against Joshua Woodward is for second offense DUI and he also is facing a count of driving while his license was suspended, police said. The arrest of Nicholas marks the second DUI case in two weeks against the teenager, police said.
State police said the case unfolded this way:
A Vermont Fish and Wildlife Game Warden came across the single-car rollover crash with possible injuries on Cambridge Road near Metcalf Pond Road at about 7:50 p.m. Saturday. The warden alerted state police.
Joshua Woodward was identified as the driver and his alcohol level was about three times the legal limit based on a roadside preliminary breath test, Trooper Richard Stepien said. Woodward was processed for suspected DUI after his discharge from Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington and later released with a court citation, police said.
Stepien said Nicholas Woodward, shortly after the crash, drove up to check on his older brother, Joshua, as he was being evaluated by rescue personnel.
While Nicholas was checking on Joshua, their father, Brian Woodward moved from the passenger seat of Nicholas' truck to the driver's seat to move the truck closer to the scene, Stepien said.
The game warden recognized Brian as being impaired and ordered Brian to stop and leave the vehicle where it was, police said. Troopers observed Brian's behavior and the odor of intoxicants suggested he was driving under the influence, police said. Brian's alcohol level was about three times the legal limit based upon his preliminary breath sample, police said. Brian was then arrested and brought to the State Police Barracks in St. Albans for processing, Stepien said.
Troopers then spoke with Nicholas, 19, and observed he had been drinking intoxicating beverages, police said. Nicholas attempted all the roadside tests and then provided a preliminary breath test confirming impairment, police said. The result of his test was not disclosed.
Nicholas was then also arrested and brought back to the St. Albans barracks for processing. Nicholas was cited for DUI for the second time in two weeks, police said. He is due in court on both cases Aug. 18, police said.
State police issued a reminder to everyone to drink responsibly while enjoying the warm summer weather.
The case "started out with a wonderful day out fishing on the waterways, but took an ugly turn after making some irresponsible decisions which ended up poorly. Based upon this incident, it can be learned that irresponsible decisions may lead to totaling a vehicle, minor to fatal injuries, tow bills, and criminal charges filed for the parties involved," Stepien said.
"Fortunately no one else was injured in this case. Please drink responsibly and remember to have a designated driver take you home after consuming alcoholic beverages," he said. Stepien also urged drivers to ensure everybody is wearing a seatbelt when traveling.
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