, Salem, MA

July 9, 2014

Police: Taylor Roberts' blood alcohol level .41 after accident in Newburyport

Newburyport inspector: Driver thought he was in Marblehead

By Dave Rogers
Staff Writer

---- — NEWBURYPORT — A Beverly man who, according to police, was five times the legal alcohol limit when he was arrested Monday midmorning and was so drunk he thought he was driving in Marblehead at night, skipped his arraignment yesterday, prompting a warrant for his arrest.

Taylor Roberts, 23, was arrested Monday around 9 a.m. after police said he rear-ended a car twice in the area of 126 Merrimac St. Due to his high level of intoxication, he was deemed unfit to be brought to court for arraignment that morning, and a decision was made to bring him before a judge yesterday.

In the meantime, he was bailed out of jail and taken to Beverly Hospital by his mother for treatment, according to court records.

When his name was called by a clerk magistrate for his arraignment yesterday morning, Roberts was nowhere to be found. That prompted Judge Peter Doyle to issue a warrant for his arrest.

Moments earlier, Essex County prosecutor Shailagh Kennedy informed Doyle that Roberts had a .41 blood alcohol level when he was arrested. The legal drunken-driving limit is .08.

Yesterday, city Marshal Thomas Howard said Roberts’ reported blood alcohol level surprised him.

“I’ve not seen a higher reading in 20 years,” Howard said.

According to the police report of Inspector Michael Sugrue, following the accident, Roberts was out of his Ford sitting on top of a brick wall with his hands covering his face. Upon asking whether Roberts was all right, Sugrue observed his speech to be slurred and a white paste coating his tongue. Roberts had trouble standing when Sugrue led him away from bystanders.

“I had to catch him from falling,” Sugrue wrote in his report.

Sugrue then began asking Roberts a series of questions. Among them was how much he had to drink and when he had begun drinking before the accident.

“I asked him what time he started drinking, he told me 10 or 11. I asked him what time it was at the present moment, he responded 10 or 11 at night,” Sugrue wrote in his report, adding that he told Roberts that it was actually 9 a.m. the next morning.

Sugrue began asking Roberts to perform a series of field sobriety tests but quickly aborted them after realizing that Roberts, not able to stand own his own, might hurt himself.

Instead, Roberts was handcuffed and charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol.

After his arrest, Roberts was taken to the station for booking.

There, two blood alcohol tests were taken with Roberts’ results coming back .41 and .42.

Informed of Roberts’ high blood alcohol level, Newburyport District Court clerk magistrate Larry Thorenson told Sugrue that Roberts’ blood alcohol level would have to come down before he could be brought to court.

“I asked him where he thought he was, he told me Marblehead. I advised him that he was in Newburyport. Mr. Roberts did not know why he was in Newburyport,” Sugrue wrote in his report.

A search of Roberts’ vehicle, which serves as his temporary residence, resulted in the seizure of vodka from the front seat and a can of Monster Energy drink.

The white paste on Roberts’ tongue and lips was later identified as toothpaste, according to police.