Pittsford man charged with eighth DUI
By Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | August 03,2012
A Pittsford man already convicted of seven drunken driving offenses denied an eighth on Thursday.
Paul F. Cormier, 40, pleaded innocent in Rutland criminal court to a felony count of driving under the influence (DUI) as well as a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license, third offense.
If convicted of DUI 4, the charge when there are four or more offenses, he faces up to 10 years in jail.
Cormier, who has been convicted of driving drunk six times in Vermont and once in New York, was pulled over late Wednesday night in Brandon by a Vermont State Police trooper who said a lookout had been issued for the 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe with the license plate “MUNKIE” which Cormier was allegedly driving.
Cormier’s history of drunken-driving offenses dates back to 1993. His most recent conviction came in February 2008 when he was sentenced to serve two to five years behind bars.
Prosecutor Peter Bevere said Cormier faced greater sanctions than ever before under the recently adopted DUI 4 criminal charge which, in addition to a 10-year maximum sentence requires that at least 192 consecutive hours be served behind bars and may not be deferred, suspended or served through work camp.
“The state will be looking for a significant amount of incarceration,” Bevere said during the arraignment.
Two empty bottles of Twisted Tea, an iced tea beverage containing alcohol, were found in the vehicle and police said a breath test indicated that Cormier’s blood-alcohol level was 0.126 percent, above the 0.08 percent legal limit for driving in Vermont.
In court Thursday, defense attorney Nelson Floyd asked that Cormier be released without bail.
But based on his prior criminal record, failures to appear at court hearings in the past and the potentially lengthy sentence, Judge Cortland Corsones set bail at $5,000. Cormier remained behind bars Thursday afternoon.
“This is a serious offense tied with what appears to be a serious problem with alcohol,” Corsones said. “Bail does seem to be appropriate in this case.”