By Jo-Anne MacKenzie
---- — SALEM — A friendly gesture might have been the undoing of Jacquelyn Plum, 46.
On Sept. 30, Plum gave a wave to Officer Robert Kirley when she drove a yellow convertible through a construction zone on Bluff Street Extension.
On Monday, 10th Circuit Court Judge John A. Korbey ordered Plum held without bail until her next court hearing on one of four pending charges against her, all of them alcohol related.
The judge granted police prosecutor Jason Grosky’s motion to revoke Plum’s bail, apparently agreeing with Grosky’s argument that the only way to keep Plum sober and out of the driver’s seat was to put her behind bars.
Those were the conditions Plum had been free on — no driving, no alcohol consumption. But she continued to do both, according to court records.
“When you have a person flagrantly and repeatedly continuing to put lives and the safety of public in danger, at some point, enough is enough,” Grosky said yesterday.
Plum has two DWI convictions in Massachusetts, one in 1996 and one in 2005, according to Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten.
She has four open cases in New Hampshire. Salem police have had plenty of interaction with her.
On Jan. 5, police were called to a local business for a report of an intoxicated female.
“We were called because she was being unruly,” Patten said.
Police responded and found Plum, as well as circumstantial evidence and open beer containers in her car that indicated she might have been drinking and driving, according to court records. They didn’t charge her, but instead took her into protective custody and later released her to a sober adult.
A few few months later, on March 30, Plum was involved in a traffic accident and was found to be intoxicated. She was charged with DWI, subsequent offense, and released. That case is still pending.
Just hours later, police stopped a vehicle in which Plum was a passenger and discovered she had an open container of liquor, illegal in New Hampshire. She was cited in that case, too.
Plum appeared in court Aug. 28 to answer to the DWI, subsequent offense charge, but her lawyer couldn’t make it. The judge released her and ordered her to appear the next day with her lawyer.
But later that day, at about 5:30 p.m., someone reported seeing a woman “passed out” at the wheel of a yellow convertible at a light on Route 28. Other drivers reportedly honked their horns in an effort to rouse her, at which time she drove on, but nearly hit other vehicles, a mailbox and a bicyclist, according to court records.
Police responded to a home on Millville Circle and found Plum, passed out behind the wheel of a Toyota Spyder, keys in the ignition and a cup on wine with ice in the console. She was arrested again and charged with DWI, subsequent offense.
Plum and her attorney did appear in court the next day, Aug. 29. Bail was set at $10,000 cash on both DWI charges. She was released under conditions that included she not drive.
It was just a month later, Sept. 30, when Kirley was working a construction detail on Bluff Street Extension. Plum drove past in a yellow convertible and waved to the officer, according to court records. Kirley recognized Plum because he was the officer who arrested her in March.
Police obtained an arrest warrant for Plum for driving after her license was suspended and for violating her bail conditions.
Grosky, in pleading his case Monday, said there were “signifcant safety concerns and questions” about Plum’s ability to follow the law and court orders, given her history. He asked the judge to revoke her bail and keep her in jail until her next court appearance.
“In a period of three months, she continues to drink, continues to drive,” he said yesterday. “She is a danger to the community and if she’s not going to abide by bail conditions, for safety of anybody on the roads or on the sidewalks, she should be held until trial.”
Defense attorney Paul Garrity countered that his client should remain free, and suggested the judge put her under electronic monitoring and require daily reporting to the Salem police for a breath sample.
Korbey opted to honor Grosky’s request.
He ordered Plum held without bail pending trial. She was immediately taken into custody Monday and will remain behind bars until her preliminary hearing on the four charges later this month.
“Obviously, she has a health problem and needs to get it taken care of,” Patten said yesterday. “In the meantime, everybody else in the public shouldn’t be put at risk because of it.”