A Hingham man will face charges of Operating Under the Influence for the sixth time after allegedly driving drunk through the residential roads of Hingham.
According to police, a Hingham resident on Bel Air Road was in his yard with his three-year-old son when a man pulled up in a car at approximately 1:40 p.m. and spoke to the child, allegedly saying “Hey, who are you?”
The father came over and had a conversation with the man, who appeared to be drunk and confused, police said.
The resident told police that he asked the suspect if he was drunk and if he should be driving. The suspect said “I’m going to drive home,” and drove away, the resident said.
The resident called police soon after the suspect left and reported the incident. When police arrived, they spoke with another witness who saw the incident take place, and who then followed the suspect to his home a short distance away on Downer Ave.
Officers went to the home of the alleged suspect and saw a vehicle, matching the descrption of both witnesses, in the driveway. Police said the car was still warm, as if it had been driven recently. A half-empty bottle of schnapps was found in the front center console.
Police said that an officer knocked on the door and spoke with the suspect, who smelled strongly of alcohol and appeared to be intoxicated.
The resident also arrived on scene and identified the man who had driven up to his house.
The man admitted to officers that he had been driving, and agreed to perform a field sobriety test, police said.
According to police, the man had trouble even getting down the front stairs, and was swaying so much he couldn’t complete the tests.
Paul A. Dillon, 45, from Hingham was arrested and charged with OUI alcohol fifth or subsequent offence, driving to endanger, and having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.
According to police, Dillon has five prior guilty convictions for drunk driving, ranging from two offences in 1989 in Hingham District Court, to the most recent in 2001 in Quincy District Court.
Despite the convictions, the suspect did have a valid license, as his most recent conviction had occurred prior to Melanie’s Law, which has made strengthened drunk driving punishments.
Hingham Police said they were grateful the incident wasn’t more serious, as the arrest happened right as school was getting out nearby.
“This occurred near a school zone, an elementary school, that let out at 2:30 and we towed [the car] at 2:15,” said Sgt. Steven Dearth. “Parents were obviously arriving early, and many will walk to school to pick up kids. A lot of foot traffic, pedestrian. The caller lives in a residential neighborhood … it’s a concern any time when someone drives impaired, but in a residential neighborhood ... that heightens the severity of it.”
Dillon was released from jail Tuesday night on $340 cash bail. He was arraigned Wednesday in Hingham District Court and released under house arrest home confinement with a GPS monitoring bracelet.
He will be due back in court on May 16.