A South Boston man was arrested in Hingham on Sunday after allegedly driving drunk with his three children in the car and then fleeing the scene of an accident.
According to police, officers were dispatched to the parking lot in front of Fresh Market at 1:44 p.m. on Sunday on the report of a minor car accident.
When officers arrived, witnesses said a 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser struck an unoccupied taxi and then left the scene. Witnesses gave officers the license plate number of the car and said the car left the Shipyard headed south on Lincoln Street.
Officers were alerted and an officer soon saw the vehicle driving on Route 3A between the two southbound lanes.
Police pulled the Toyota over and approached the car, only to discover than the man had his three children, ages 1, 2, and 2, in the back seat.
Police said the driver appeared confused and was unable to work the controls to lower his window, and eventually opened the door.
Officers said the suspect smelled strongly of alcohol, that his eyes were red and glassy, and that his speech was slurred. The man denied he had had anything to drink and said he was going home.
The man agreed to perform a field sobriety test but was unable to complete it. Officers placed the suspect under arrest.
Another officer remained at the scene until a nearby relative came to pick up the children. Police said the three child safety seats were not properly installed in the Toyota, and the officer helped install them in the relative’s vehicle before the relative left with the kids.
Police said the Toyota was towed from the scene. While searching the car, police discovered a half-empty 375 ml bottle of vodka that had been wedged between two of the child safety seats.
Jonathan H. Barrett, 39, from South Boston, was charged with OUI alcohol, three counts OUI with child endangerment, driving to endanger, leaving the scene of a crash after causing property damage, driving with an open container of alcohol, and a marked lanes violation.
According to police, a 51A was filed on behalf of the children with the Department of Children and Families.
The suspect was released on Sunday night on personal recognizance and arraigned on Monday in Hingham District Court.