, Salem, MA

Local News

June 16, 2014

Erratic driver gives police his brother’s name

BEVERLY — A Boston man who allegedly gave police his brother’s name on Friday after he was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving was ordered held on $250 bail following his arraignment Monday.

Edward Hahnel, 47, of West Roxbury, pleaded not guilty before Salem District Court Judge Matthew Machera to charges of drunken driving, refusing to identify himself and driving without a license.

On Friday afternoon, Beverly police got a call about an erratic driver in a silver sedan with Virginia plates pulling out of the parking lot of Nick’s Roast Beef on Enon Street (Route 1A), prosecutors said.

A patrolman spotted the car and stopped it.

Hahnel — who initially gave police his brother Stanley’s name — denied drinking but smelled of alcohol, prosecutor Megan Buckley said in court.

Police noticed pill bottles on the center console that were prescribed to Edward Hahnel. Hahnel, still claiming to be Stanley, said he was simply picking them up for his ailing brother, according to police. As for why he was driving up and down Enon Street, he allegedly claimed he was looking for a hotel room to “sober up.”

Police also found an empty pint bottle that had once contained Jim Beam and two empty nip bottles that once held vodka.

Hahnel told police he was unable to do some of the standard field sobriety tests because of a bad knee, and he recited the alphabet to the letter “P,” the prosecutor told a judge. He refused a Breathalyzer test at the station.

Hahnel’s identity was discovered when police found a North Carolina identification card with his photograph and name on it in a back pocket of his jeans.

It turns out Hahnel was also wanted on a warrant in Gloucester District Court, where he will be sent immediately if he makes bail in the case.

A pretrial conference has been scheduled for July 16.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.


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