A district court judge today tightened the home confinement conditions for state Senator Anthony D. Galluccio and set a hearing for Jan. 4 to determine whether the Cambridge Democrat should go to jail for failing breathalyzer tests this week that were part of his probation for a fleeing the scene of a car crash in October.
Cambridge District Court Judge Matthew Nestor agreed to a request by the probation department for a "lockdown" that would require Galluccio to stay in his home 24 hours a day until the hearing. Under the original terms of his probation, Galluccio was allowed to leave his home to cast votes in the Senate and attend church.
Galluccio said Tuesday that he set off a false reading on the machine by using toothpastes that contain the substance sorbitol. After today's hearing, he said, "I have and will continue to live up to every commitment that I have made and every agreement that I have made."
If Galluccio is determined at the January surrender hearing to have violated his probation, he could face up to a year in jail.
Catherine Ham, a prosecutor from Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz's office,
wanted Galluccio immediately sent to jail, pending his probation surrender hearing. But the judge told her it
was the probation department's role, not the prosecutors', to make such a recommendation. Cruz's office is involved in the case to avoid any
appearance of conflict of interest for Middlesex County prosecutors.
Galluccio's attorney, George Hassett, suggested that the date of the next hearing be moved from Jan. 21 to Jan. 4. The judge agreed.
Galluccio has been convicted twice before of driving under the influence, and in December 2005 he triggered a four-car accident at a downtown Boston intersection at 2 a.m. A clerk-magistrate ruled that he had been drinking, but that there was not enough evidence to substantiate a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Galluccio has refused to say whether he was drinking alcohol before the October crash. He has told reporters that "I cannot overstate how regretful I am" and that "I made a firm decision that there will be no alcohol in my life."
As part of an agreement to plead guilty, Galluccio was ordered to serve two years of probation, with conditions that he abstain from alcohol, undergo random urine tests, and use a Sobrietor, a handheld device that allows officials to monitor his blood-alcohol content at home.
He has lost his driver's license for five years, was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, and must undergo alcohol evaluation and treatment, and attend a half-day workshop by the Brain Injury Association.
The agreement also called for him to be allowed to leave home for church on Sundays and to cast a vote in the state Senate, exceptions that the judge removed today.
Galluccio said that a probation officer installed the breathalyzer in his home on Monday and that the device issued several low-level positive readings over an hour. He is required to breathe into the device at random times every day.
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