Man allegedly drove drunk into Silver Line tunnel

MBTA Transit Police released this surveillance camera image showing the car after it crashed inside the Silver Line tunnel in South Boston.
MBTA Transit Police released this surveillance camera image showing the car after it crashed inside the Silver Line tunnel in South Boston. Transit Police

A 58-year-old Wilmington man was released on his own recognizance Friday, charged with being a repeat offender of operating under the influence, for allegedly driving drunk into a Silver Line bus tunnel, the third arraignment for drunken driving in Suffolk County courtrooms this week, prosecutors said.

William Tilton was arrested by MBTA Transit Police in South Boston early Friday morning, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office.

He pleaded not guilty in Boston Municipal Court and will return to court Dec. 18 for a pretrial hearing. Tilton was ordered to not consume alcohol pending his trial, said Conley spokesman Jake Wark.

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The incident occurred just before 1 a.m. when Tilton drove into the D Street portal of the Silver Line tunnel, crashing into a security barrier, said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

Tilton allegedly smelled of alcohol and could not stand steadily on his feet. After he failed a series of sobriety tests, he was charged, Pesaturo said.

The barriers are placed in the tunnel to prevent unauthorized vehicles from entering. They are approximately 200 feet from the entrance, Pesaturo said.

Tilton told officers he was driving home from the Bruins game, and that a friend instructed him to driver in the bus-only lane. He admit to officers that he had two or three drinks that evening, but did not say he was drunk, Conley’s office said in a statement.

Tilton’s blood alcohol level was 0.15, which is nearly twice the 0.08 legal limit, the statement said.

An operating under the influence charge would normally result in immediate suspension of a person’s license for 30 days, but because Tilton has been convicted of the charge before, his license may be suspended for a longer period of time, said Mike Verseckes, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

Tilton’s over convictions were in 1992, 1988, and 1983, Conley’s office said in a statement.

His lengthy record also included violations such as misuse of a handicap placard and failure to stop.

The district attorney’s office said Tilton’s court appearance was the one of three this week for alleged repeat drunk drivers.

On Thursday, Carter Gillenwater, 58, of Mattapan was charged with operating under the influence as a third offense, operating with a license revoked, a marked lanes violation, and four counts of leaving the scene of a personal injury, Conley’s office said.

Gillenwater is also on probation for a 2011 conviction for operating under the influence and a 2012 conviction for negligent operation and leaving the scene of personal injury. He was convicted of operating under the influence in 2009, the statement said.

On Wednesday, Douglas Feyler, 54, of Randolph, was arraigned on charges of operating under the influence as a fifth offense, operating without a license in his possession, and a traffic violation, the statement said.

Feyler was convicted of drunk driving on two occasions in 1995 and in 1990, the statement said.

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