Daniel Dodman crash Triangle Street 6/20/13 Not far from Amherst High School
Many of you will remember Daniel S. Dodman my June 20 DUI Dishonor Role winner. He's the kid who drove his Volvo off busy Triangle Street after sideswiping a telephone pole and then tried to surf a row of boulders. He abandoned his damaged vehicle and sprinted north.
Once captured he failed every aspect of the FSTs and blew a .16 BAC -- twice the legal limit.
The crash drew the immediate attention of Amherst police of course, but also tied up AFD since the damaged vehicle was leaking hazardous fluids.
In Eastern Hampshire District Court on Tuesday Judge John Payne heard pretty much an admission of guilt and plea for mercy from Dodman and his attorney. His mother was also in court, and the Judge heard about his successful older siblings. A DUI conviction on his record would dramatically reduce the likelihood of his ever matching their success in life.
The prosecution was not overly moved, citing his fleeing the scene, struggling with police and also mentioned how he emptied a toilet with his bare hands when finally put in a cell, weirding out one of the officers.
UMass suspended Dodman for one year but he will restart his senior year this coming spring. And he is getting professional help from an Amherst therapist.
The Judge was convinced (by the defense). Out of the six counts filed against him he dismissed three (Resisting Arrest, Leaving Scene of Accident, Marked Lanes Violation) and the most important ones -- DUI and Negligent Operation -- he continued for a year without a finding.
He was also found "responsible" for "open container of alcohol" (whisky) in an automobile, but the charge was simply filed for one year.
Dodman will lose his drivers license for 45 days, be on probation for a year, pay court costs and continue with his therapy.
Maybe he has learned a harsh lesson. Maybe. If not, the next time he could die -- or worse, one of those innocent teen-age bystanders you see below.
Daniel Dodman's rolling weapon disarmed (note teenagers in close proximity)