SALEM — Matthew Bossie tried to do the right thing when he realized he was too drunk to drive home, his attorney said yesterday.
But his effort to park his car on Wharf Street and walk home ended in disaster, when he crashed his 2003 Chevy Malibu sedan into the Rockett Management building at Pickering Wharf, causing more than $8,000 in damage, on the evening of Nov. 17, 2011.
Then he panicked and drove away, parking his damaged car, askew and partially on a curb, in a lot near the Salem Waterfront Hotel. Police found him and concluded that he was drunk, prosecutor Lynsey Legier said.
Yesterday, a judge agreed to continue charges of drunken driving and leaving the scene of a property damage accident without a finding for a year, which will spare Bossie, 26, a local chef, a record of conviction.
Legier, who urged Judge Robert Brennan to find Bossie guilty and sentence him to a year of supervised probation, said in court that police found empties, as well as pills, in his car and said Bossie admitted to officers, “I totally (expletive) up.”
Defense lawyer James O’Shea said his client had just started driving home to his apartment on Geneva Street when he realized he was too drunk to drive. He decided to park and walk home.
After the crash, O’Shea said, Bossie made it about 50 yards to the hotel parking lot.
“This is not something he’s proud of,” O’Shea said. “He’s taking full responsibility.”
Judge Robert Brennan said that while Bossie hit the building and then drove away, the case was not all that different from many other first-time drunken-driving cases, in which offenders are often given a continuation without a finding.
The judge ruled that Bossie may not drive for 60 days or drink for six months, during which he will have to submit to random alcohol tests.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.