When Peter Anketell was sentenced in 2004 for drunken driving, it was the first time he had been in prison for a significant amount of time. Anketell was sentenced to 12-14 years in jail. His case made headlines because he had a long history of DUI arrests and convictions but had only served short jail sentences. During this time, the law in Massachusetts only permitted police to consider DUI offenses that had taken place within the last 10 years before charging a person for a subsequent offense. His case led the authorities to change DUI laws in Massachusetts. You can read more on DUI events and news on DUIwise.
Circumstances That Led to Anketell’s Arrest
13 years later, Anketell is now facing his 12th DUI charge. According to reports by Salem police, the accident occurred after Anketell crashed into a curb outside a gas station in Derby Street. This incident took place a few moments after his girlfriend had called the police reporting him for drunken driving. Anketell, who is 55 years of age, pleaded not guilty to; his fifth subsequent DUI charge, driving after his license was revoked, and to the unlawful possession of Xanax, a prescription drug.
The first report about Anketell was made by his girlfriend, Renee Gubitosi, who claimed that he had been taking Xanax and drinking, and had now taken her car. Sgt. Harry Rocheville of Salem Police was aware of Anketell’s history and knew his license had been revoked permanently. Officers were informed to watch out for Renee’s blue Dodge. One hour later, Anketell is reported to have sped into the Speedway gas station situated at Derby Street. He eventually struck a curb that damaged the front part of the car and blew a tire.
Rocheville was flagged down by a woman who witnessed the whole incident. She directed Rocheville to Anketell who lay at an adjacent parking lot and reported how he had almost killed innocent civilians. Anketell was still in possession of a can of Ice beer when Rocheville arrested him. It is unclear whether he had opened the can.
Another witness told the police how Anketell stopped in front of the building and attempted to fill his ruined tire, then fled after he saw the police approaching. Anketell appeared to have sustained a bump and cut on his head after the crash. He was taken to police headquarters to undergo a field sobriety test which he failed miserably. He is also reported to have refused to take a breathalyzer test.
Gubitosi informed police that her boyfriend had an electric starter that he used to start her car. But she reiterated that she never permitted him to drive.
The prosecutor in the case, Stefanie Stanbro, requested the court to detain Anketell considering his history of DUIs in Massachusetts, Florida, and New Hampshire. His record includes a 2002 car accident in Marblehead which resulted in the death of Cynthia Wilson, 40, his girlfriend during that time. Anketell is reported to have lost control on Tedesco Street. He hit a curb, pole, and finally crashed into a tree. Although Anketell tried to claim that Wilson was to blame for the accident, the jury turned down that defense.
In 2014, Anketell got out on parole which he completed last year. While Anketell was imprisoned, the law changed allowing law enforcement officers and prosecutors to count all a defendant’s DUI convictions when charging them. This is despite the fact that Michigan’s DUI law is limited to the fifth or subsequent offense which carries a maximum of five years in prison.
When Anketell was arraigned, his new lawyer, Patrick Regan, requested the judge to commit Anketell to a detox program. However, Judge Joseph Jennings said that it was not his decision to make but that of the sheriff’s department.
Massachusetts DUI Laws
When determining whether you are driving under the influence of alcohol, Massachusetts reviews your blood alcohol content. The BAC limits correspond with one’s age or certain conditions.
For drivers who are 21 years old and above, the BAC limit is 0.08% or above</p>
· For drivers of commercial vehicles, the BAC limit is 0.04% or above
· For drivers who are under 21 years old, the BAC limit is 0.02%
Additional DUI Laws
Open Container Laws
Massachusetts open container law states that it is unlawful to drive a vehicle with an open bottle or container of alcohol in the vehicle. This means you should not drive with an empty beer bottle in your car, nor have a passenger consuming alcohol. A violation of this law will subject you to a fine of between $100 and $500.
Other Drugs and Medications
An officer can pull you over in cases where a prescription, illegal, or over the counter drug is impeding your ability to operate a vehicle. Based on the circumstances of your case, you are likely to face a DUI conviction like you would in a case of drunk driving. The state will also revoke your driver’s license or learner’s permit. Revocation periods range between 1 and 5 years.
Penalties for a DUI in Massachusetts
The penalties for a DUI conviction are classified as either administrative or criminal penalties. They are further classified into first, second, third, fourth, and fifth offenses.
· For a first DUI offense, you stand to face a driver’s license suspension of between 45-90 years and an imprisonment of up to 2 ½ years.
· For a second DUI offense, you stand to face a driver’s license suspension of up to 2 years and an imprisonment of 2 ½ years.
· For a third DUI offense, you stand to face a driver’s license suspension of up to 8 years, and an imprisonment of between 2 ½ years and 5 years.
· For a fourth DUI offense, you stand to face a driver’s license suspension of up to 10 years and an imprisonment of between 2 ½ years and 5 years.
· For a fifth DUI offense, you stand to face a driver’s license revocation and an imprisonment of between 2 ½ years and 5 years.
If you want to learn more about DUIs in Massachusetts, DUIwise.com is the site to visit. This is your trusted source for news and events regarding DUIs in Massachusetts.