PEABODY — A man whose prior drunken driving convictions were so old prosecutors could not move to hold him without bail, after his arrest in December, is now in custody, after he missed several court-ordered alcohol screens last week. 

Edwin Buck, 49, of Acton, was charged with a sixth offense of drunken driving after a crash on the evening of Dec. 22, on a stretch of Route 114 near the Northshore Mall. Buck veered across an oncoming lane and crashed into a stone retaining wall, police said. 

But because his most recent drunken driving convictions prior to that were in 2001 and earlier, prosecutors were unable to request that he be held without bail, under last year's Criminal Justice Reform Act. 

Buck had been free on $5,000 bail, with conditions that included use of a remote alcohol monitor, which required him to submit breath samples four times a day. 

A probation officer said Buck had been complying with that condition, but then, last Wednesday, he missed two tests. The officer told Salem Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Karp that he contacted Buck, who immediately submitted a sample and passed. 

Then, on Saturday night, Buck missed another test, at 9 p.m., and failed to answer phone calls from the monitoring center, which ultimately led to them obtaining a warrant. He was arrested later Saturday evening. 

Prosecutors moved to revoke Buck's bail and detain him until trial. 

Buck's lawyer, Jeffrey Sweeney, urged the judge not to hold his client, saying that he has passed all of his tests over a nearly eight-month period, and has been working steadily, supporting his family. 

On the night of the missed test, Sweeney said Buck had been away from the device, known as a SCRAM, and his phone died. 

Karp, however, concluded that Buck violated the conditions of his release and revoked his bail. Buck will remain held at Middleton Jail to await trial. 

A hearing to schedule Buck's trial is set for Sept. 13. 

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

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