Man arrested for 5th OUI after leaving license plate at accident - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Man arrested for 5th OUI after leaving license plate at accident scene

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Dee DeQuattro

A man was arrested for his fifth OUI after he struck ten parked cars in New Bedford around 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

Police responded to the area of Arnold and James Streets for report of a hit-and-run motor vehicle accident.

A 2003 Honda Civic had been seen fleeing from the scene. When police arrived they found the suspects bumper along with a registration plate attached on the ground.

Investigators followed a fluid trail from the scene to the suspect, 46-year-old Joseph Counsell's home at 22 Evelyn Street on the west side of Buttonwood Park.

At his home police found that he had also struck the picket fence out front while trying to park and the vehicle's airbags had been deployed.

Police found Counsell standing outside the vehicle with his pants undone and airbag residue on his face.

He smelled heavily of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet. He denied that he was driving to the police and gave various descriptions of who had been driving his car. Police say he was heavily slurring as he accounted the details.

Police brought Counsell back to the scene where the incident took place and an eyewitness identified him.

One of the vehicles that was struck had to be towed from the scene.

Counsell was arrested and charged with OUI-liquor fifth offense, leaving the scene of an accident after property damage, and failure to stay in marked lanes. In addition, his license will be suspended 180 days for refusing the breathalyzer test.

Counsell was last convicted for OUI in 1990.

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