EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 11, 2012

Convicted 9 times before, Lawrence man beats latest OUI charge

LAWRENCE — A Lawrence man previously convicted nine times of drunken driving has beat his latest OUI charge.

A Lawrence District Court jury found Donald Blackington, 68, of Lawrence not guilty of an operating under the influence (12th offense) charge this morning. It took the jury less than two hours to clear him of the charge.

Blackington was arrested in June 2011 in Haverhill on the Ward Hill Connector. Police testified he "reeked of alcohol," uncooperative, and slumped over in the back of the cruiser following his arrest. He refused to take a breath test at the scene.

Blackington testified he was at a cousin's 60th birthday party in Amesbury the day of the arrest, but left because he wasn't feeling well. He said he was dizzy, not drunk, when he pulled over to the side of the connector. He testified he was unaware there was a bar at the party he attended.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's The Eagle-Tribune.

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