EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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March 8, 2013

AMVETS escapes discipline in drunk-driving case

Man drinking at lounge crashed car into house

HAVERHILL — The License Commission voted last night not to punish AMVETS Post 147 for a 2011 incident in which an intoxicated man crashed his automobile into a home after allegedly drinking at the Primose Street lounge across the street.

At the scene of the accident, the driver of the automobile, William Cadorette, 67, told police he had “a couple of beers” at the club just prior to the late-night accident. But in a deposition in the criminal case against Cadorette for drunk driving, he told the court he had consumed the alcohol at his home and went to the AMVETS lounge only to check his lottery tickets.

Although the crash itself did not directly injure anyone in the house, the homeowner fell on some stairs while trying to determine what had happened and was taken to the hospital, police said.

According to a police report, the officer on scene noticed a strong odor of alcohol emanating from Cadorette after firefighters helped the man out of his car.

“Lt. Mimms was actually having to hold up the defendant as he was unsteady on his feet and swaying back and forth and nearly falling over,” according to patrolman Stephen Iannalfo’s report. “I then asked him what happened and he said he did not know. He said he thinks he passed out, then awoke after hitting the house.”

Iannalfo said he asked Cadorette for his identification and had to wait “at least five minutes” for the man to retrieve it. When Iannalfo assisted Cadorette in removing his drivers license from his wallet, the officer said Cadorette became “belligerent and angry.”

“I then asked him if he had been drinking as his speech was slurred and he seemed to be talking with a heavy tongue,” the officer wrote. “He stated he had a couple beers at the AMVETS that was almost directly across the street from the accident and he indicated that was where he was coming from.”

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