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Despite revoked license, man faces eighth drunken driving case

By John R. Ellement
Globe Staff / July 15, 2011

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Despite having his driver’s license revoked for life, a Winthrop man was behind the wheel Tuesday when he was arrested in Revere and charged with drunken driving for the eighth time, authorities say.

Joseph F. Limone has seven prior convictions dating back to 1970, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office. The Registry of Motor Vehicles said Limone has not had a valid driver’s license since at least 1985.

According to prosecutors, Limone has been convicted of drunken driving in Essex and Suffolk counties in 1983, Suffolk County in 1984, Essex County in 1987 and 1996, and Middlesex County in 2001 and 2007.

The 2007 conviction is under appeal.

“There’s no excuse for a person with this driving record being on the road,’’ Conley said in a statement.

Limone, 60, of Winthrop, pleaded not guilty to drunken driving, fifth or subsequent offense, in Chelsea District Court Wednesday and was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing.

Limone is also charged with operating on a revoked license, furnishing a false name to police, and civil infractions including making a harsh or objectionable noise in the operation of a motor vehicle, according to Conley’s office.

According to a State Police report, Limone was driving a 1988 Lincoln Town Car down Revere Beach Parkway around 5 p.m. Tuesday, tailgating a car in front of him and repeatedly shouting at the driver.

The driver pulled into a parking space followed by Limone, who continued to shout at the driver, State Police said.

Trooper Shawn O’Neil, who was patrolling Revere Beach, tried to pull Limone over, but he drove off, prosecutors said.

Limone allegedly turned onto Beach Street, driving the wrong way on the one-way street, prosecutors said. He finally stopped the car, and identified himself as Richard Fasanelli, prosecutors said.

Troopers discovered a state identification card bearing his true name, prosecutors said. Asked how much alcohol he had been drinking, Limone allegedly replied, “Two shots.’’

O’Neil arrested Limone, based on an odor of alcohol and because he failed multiple field sobriety tests, including being unable to recite portions of the alphabet, prosecutors said.

Limone allegedly fought with troopers, kicked out a window in a cruiser, and repeatedly was hit with pepper spray following his arrest.

His lawyer, John MacLachlan, did not immediately return a telephone call.

The Supreme Judicial Court will hear oral arguments Sept. 8 on a move by Middlesex prosecutors to reinstate Limone’s seventh drunk driving conviction, which was thrown out because he was stopped by an off-duty Somerville police officer in Woburn.

Limone allegedly hit the off-duty officer’s vehicle.

The officer, who was in uniform after working a paid detail, took Limone’s keys and told him to stay in the car while he summoned Woburn police. Limone was then arrested on a drunk driving charge.

John Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com