A Rockland man arrested in Hingham Monday and charged for a fourth time with driving under the influence.
According to Hingham police, officers received a call at 4:41 p.m. saying a dark-colored Chevrolet pickup was “all over the road” and had difficulty staying in one lane.
The witness said she saw the car traveling north on Otis Street near the Hingham Bathing Beach lot. The motorist pulled off the road into a boat parking lot on Lincoln Street, and an officer arrived at soon afterward and saw a truck fitting the witness’s description.
The officer spoke to a man sitting in the driver’s seat, who denied that he had been driving. Accordind to police, the suspect told the officer that his wife had been driving and that his wife had gone for a walk. The suspect told police he had come to the area to get boat parts.
The suspect eventually got out of the car and police said he was unsteady on his feet. Several times, the suspect's knees appeared to buckle but he held on to the bed of the truck, police said.
Though the suspect denied he had been drinking, the man smelled strongly of alcoho and refused to take part in a field sobriety testl, police said..
Police also discovered that the man’s wife, who owned the car, was at home. Officers said the truck’s keys were found in the man’s front pants pocket, the man’s wallet in the driver’s door, and a man who came out of the boat store identified the suspect as the person who had been driving.
Richard F. Higgins, 49, from Rockland was arrested and charged with operating under the influence (fourth offense), driving with a license revoked for OUI, and operating to endanger.
The truck, a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado, was towed.
Higgins was held on $2,500 cash bail by the Clerk Magistrate and held overnight at the Plymouth County House of Correction.
Police said the suspect was arraigned on Wednesday at Hingham District Court. He was ordered to be held until the bail of $2,500 was posted. He will be due back in Hingham Court on Sept. 25.
According to police, Higgins was convicted for Operating Under the Influence in Quincy in 1987, in Norwell in 1995, and in Rockland in 2006. In 2011, Higgins's license was revoked for eight years for his previous offenses.
Police said that under Melanie’s Law, a conviction for OUI while a license is suspended or revoked for a prior OUI carries with it a minimum mandatory sentence of one year in jail, to be served in addition to any other sentence.