A former state chemist was released on personal recognizance today after her arraignment on a charge that she was driving with a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit when she rear-ended a car in Revere, injuring the pregnant woman who was driving, prosecutors said.
Hevis Lleshi, 31, of Quincy, was arraigned in Chelsea District Court on a charge of operating under the influence. She had a not-guilty plea entered on her behalf and was ordered to remain free of drugs and alcohol, to not drive, and to submit to random testing.
Lleshi will return to court for a pretrial conference on Oct. 31, the Suffolk district attorney’s office said in a statement.
At about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Revere police responded to a crash at North Shore Road and Oak Island Street. Lleshi had allegedly struck the car, driven by a 37-year-old pregnant Marblehead woman, from behind.
The woman was transported to Whidden Memorial Hospital with injuries not considered to be life-threatening. She was released later and her pregnancy will be monitored by specialists at Massachusetts General Hospital, the district attorney’s office said.
Lleshi previously worked as a chemist at the Department of Public Health’s Hinton Laboratory, the statement said. The Jamaica Plain lab is where former state chemist Annie Dookhan, who is charged with mishanlding evidence that could affect thousands of drug cases in Massachusetts, used to work.
Upon arrival at the accident scene Wednesday, police found Lleshi behind the wheel of her car. She allegedly had slurred speech and smelled of alcohol, and told officers that she did not know what happened but did admit to having three alcoholic beverages that day, according to District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office.
Lleshi was administered sobriety tests at the scene. She allegedly could not walk in a straight line nor follow the tip of a pen with her eyes, Conley’s office said. She also told police that she knew the alphabet, citing her education at Boston University, but never recited it, the DA’s office said.
Lleshi was placed under arrest and brought to the Revere police station where she agreed to a breathalyzer test, which registered at 0.24, the statement said. The legal limit in Massachusetts is 0.08.
At the station, Lleshi also told officers she had been at Suffolk Superior Court prior to having drinks at a bar. Officers could find no record of her being at the court, the statement said.Melissa Hanson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Melissa__Hanson.