MAN DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE WITH DOG IN CAR FACES 11TH OUI
HUDSON- A hit and run accident on Sunday evening lead to a Worcester man’s 11th OUI arrest, this time with his service dog in the car.
Police in Hudson were called shortly before 4pm on Sunday after 59-year-old Mark Lehtola of Worcester rear ended another vehicle and fled the scene, telling the victim he didn’t believe he’d done any damage to her car and refusing to provide any information.
The victim was able to take photos of Lehtola leaving the scene, and police quickly located him on Main Street with damage on his car matching what was photographed in the accident. Police noticed immediately a strong odor of alcohol and that his eyes were bloodshot and glossy, and asked Lehtola to perform a series of field sobriety tests during which he nearly fell to the ground. As police looked inside the vehicle, they noticed a small dog as well as several empty and half-finished containers of “Natty Daddy” and two half-open bottles of Southern Comfort.
Lehtola was then placed under arrest and taken back to the station, where his blood alcohol concentration registered at .21%. While in custody, he informed police several times that he was a former Veteran, and that the dog was a VA approved service animal. Animal Control was called to care for the dog until a family member was able to come and retrieve it, and Lehtola was allowed a second call to make the arrangements.
Previous OUI arrests, dating as far back as May of 1985, include arrests in Barnstable, Worcester, Framingham, and Westborough Districts.
Lehtola’s bail has been set at $100,040.00 and he is facing multiple charges including OUI while license suspended, possessing an open container of alcohol, leaving the scene of property damage and 11thoffense OUI liquor.