Man allegedly flips car twice, drives away — (The Bennington Banner)

SSRI Ed note: Man on Paxil, Klonipin drinks, drives, has accident is charged for third incident of reckless driving.

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The Bennington Banner

MIKE GLEASON, Staff Writer

Article Launched: Friday, October 5  10/05/2007 03:10:05 AM EDT

BENNINGTON ­ After allegedly flipping his car twice on Route 7A and then driving away, a Shaftsbury man was arraigned in Bennington District Court for driving while under the influence, third offense.

Christopher A. Faris, 51, of Route 7A pleaded not guilty to the charge, and was released on conditions by Judge David Suntag.

According to an affidavit by Vermont State Police Cpl. Gary Shuhart, police were contacted at about 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 3. Shuhart said he was advised that police were pursuing a vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident on Route 7A. The car later pulled into a driveway on that road.

Shuhart said he saw the operator of the vehicle, identified as Faris, standing behind the car. According to Shuhart, Faris had bloodshot and watery eyes and his speech was slurred. Shuhart allegedly admitted to having four gulps of brandy, but said he stopped two hours ago. Shuhart said Faris had an extreme sway when he was walking, and that he stumbled and was unsteady.

According to Shuhart, Faris said he had been drinking with God.

Faris also allegedly said that he was moderately under the influence of Paxil and Klonipin. According to Shuhart, Faris had a .190 percent blood-alcohol content.

A complainant said she saw Faris’ car driving near the Arlington town line. She said she saw the car hit the bank and a tree, go airborne and roll over. According to the woman, the car ended up on all four wheels. According to the woman, the operator “just shook his head, looked around and drove off, headed southbound.”

Another witness saw the car go left of the center line, swerve back to the other land, go off the road and into a ditch, where the car flipped. According to the witness, the car was gone when she turned around to provide assistance.

According to police, Faris has been convicted twice of driving under the influence twice before ­ once in September 2001 and again in November 2002.