SWAMPSCOTT — A Marblehead man who called 911 after crashing his van into a guardrail last January, then fought with police trying to arrest him for drunken driving for the fifth time, pleaded guilty yesterday.
Terence Driscoll, 39, of 14 Baldwin Terrace was sentenced to three to four years in state prison, followed by three years of probation, by Salem Superior Court Judge John Lu.
In addition to fifth-offense drunken driving, Driscoll pleaded guilty to driving after license suspension, resisting arrest, and two counts of assault and battery on a public employee.
Driscoll, whose license had been suspended for 10 years in 2007 after a prior drunken-driving offense, was at the wheel of a Dodge van just before midnight on Jan. 14 when he crashed into a snowbank and then a guardrail on Essex Street in Swampscott.
Driscoll actually ran out from behind the van and flagged down the officers who arrived in response to a 911 call, according to a police report. He said he'd swerved to avoid another car and gotten stuck.
As he spoke, he appeared to be making a telephone call — he told officers he was calling AAA for assistance and turned on the speakerphone. When a woman answered, he asked, "Is this AAA?"
The woman's voice answered, "No, it's your mother."
Driscoll then grew angry when he realized that police were going to arrest him, pointing out that it was he who had called them, "and now this."
As the officers tried to put him in custody, he kicked them, one in the chest and one in the thigh, as he yelled, "This is (expletive)." Police used pepper spray to subdue him, according to a police report.
Once in the cruiser, he began spitting all over the inside, leaving saliva, mucus and blood. Police had to hire a company that cleans up crime scenes to clean the car afterward.
Inside Driscoll's van, police found two nearly empty liquor bottles, one of vodka and one of Kahlua.
Driscoll's record of drinking and driving also includes convictions in 1992, 1997 and 1999, when he was convicted of both drunken driving and driving under the influence of drugs.
The sentence by Lu fell between the three years sought by defense lawyer John Haggerty and the four to five requested by prosecutor Jennifer Kunsch.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis may be reached at 978-338-2521 or firstname.lastname@example.org.