R.I. man faces 10th drunken driving charge after arrest in New Bedford

A Rhode Island man who has been convicted of drunken driving nine times in jurisdictions across the country, pleaded not guilty this morning in New Bedford District Court to his 10th offense, State Police said.

John Brant, 49, of Middletown, R.I., was arraigned on charges that included operating under the influence, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, State Police said in a statement

Trooper Fernando Dasilva found Brant while responding to a call for a motor vehicle crash on Interstate 195 in New Bedford at around 8 p.m. Saturday. Brant was walking around a Toyota Corolla that appeared to have veered off the road and crashed into some trees, State Police said.


Dasilva suspected Brant was intoxicated and arrested him. Brant declined medical attention and refused a Breathalyzer test, State Police said.

During the booking process, Dasilva found that Brant had been arrested and convicted for nine other operating under the influence offenses. This was Brant’s second Massachusetts OUI arrest, according to a copy of his driving record provided by the state Transportation Department.

He was convicted of drunken driving in Fall River in 1987, according to the record.

Other incidents occurred in California, Florida, and Rhode Island, State Police said.

Brant is being held without bail in the Bristol County House of Corrections.

He is due back in court for a dangerousness hearing on Jan. 30, according to a spokeswoman for the Bristol district attorney’s office.

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